Hempstead Town Board Approves Gas Station Generator Law, Back-Up Power Would Combat Fuel Lines During Major Power Outages

Supervisor Kate Murray, Senior Councilman Anthony Santino and members of the Town Board today passed a new Gas Station Generator Law in an effort to prevent the long fuel lines during major power outages. The legislation was promoted by the seemingly endless gas lines endured by residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. While a major part of the problem was getting fuel shipments into local ports and to area gas stations, several fueling stations had gasoline in underground tanks, but had no way to fill up cars because stations lacked the electricity needed to pump fuel into the vehicles. 

The new legislation, proposed by Murray and Santino, requires gas stations in the township to have back-up generator power capable of operating fuel pumps in the event of a power outage.  The officials said the legislation will help mitigate the impact of the type of fuel shortage that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“Long Island residents were slammed by Hurricane Sandy, and then slammed again by the fuel shortage and long gas lines that crippled our area after the storm,” said Murray. “Requiring gasoline retailers to provide generator back-up power to operate fuel pumps during serious electrical outages could mitigate fuel shortages during and after a crisis like Sandy.”

“Seeing neighbors battle back from Sandy evidenced both moments of inspiration and heartbreak,” said Santino. “Watching neighbors endure seemingly endless fuel lines in the storm’s aftermath, which resulted in such an enormous level of frustration, simply added insult to injury.”

Gasoline stations that pump more than 100,000 gallons a month would be required to comply with the town’s new generator law. Existing gasoline retailers would have until January 1, 2015 to come into compliance with the new legislation.  Newly constructed facilities would immediately be required to build gas stations to the new standard. Similar legislation has gone into effect in Florida and Louisiana. 

“I think this common-sense legislation will help people to remain mobile after major catastrophes,” concluded Murray.  “This law is one way we can mitigate the impact of major disasters that cause widespread power outages,” added Santino.