State to provide grants for generators

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Independent gas stations have until April 1, 2014 to comply with the requirements. In the event of a fuel shortage emergency declaration by the governor, the stations will have to be operational within 24 hours, unless flooding makes it physically impossible or unsafe to do so.

The law differs slightly for chain gasoline stations with more than 10 stations in a given region. They will receive the same grants for stations that lie within the half-mile zone, but must also wire 30 percent of their stations that lie outside of the half-mile zone. The chain gas stations will have until Aug. 1, 2015 to comply with the law, and in an event of a fuel shortage emergency, have 48 hours to become operational.

Additionally, all newly constructed or rebuilt gas stations after April 1, 2014 throughout the state will have to be prewired to receive a generator.

To receive the generators, gas stations have the option to participate in a pool organized by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, who will oversee the grant program, and will contract with generator suppliers to bring generators to stations. Stations that participate in the pool will only be responsible for financing the rental and deployment of the generator. According to a NYSERDA spokesperson, The State Department of Agriculture and Markets will notify stations required to comply with the new law by June 1.

Service station owners, who were outraged by the Town of Hempstead’s unfunded mandate, said they were more pleased with the state’s regulations, but added that some flaws will still need to be worked out. “This is only part of the problem,” said Watt. “Power is half the problem. The other the half is product. So hopefully, [the state] will also work on that part of it.”

Ralph Bombardiere, the executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, said his organization is unhappy with any mandates that require the purchase of generators, but that the state law presented “the best of both worlds.”

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