Grants for gas station backup generators announced

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Gas station owners along highways and evacuation routes will be able to qualify for grants to purchase and install backup generators, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Monday.

The $5.1 million in federal funds will offset 75 percent of the costs for gas station owners, who now need to comply with a new New York State law passed in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. That law requires gas stations within a half mile of a highway exit or hurricane evacuation route to have a "transfer switch" installed to deploy a generator within 24 hours of losing power during a fuel supply or energy emergency.

"Far too many gas stations had plenty of gas, but had no power to pump it out," Schumer said in a statement.

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Gillibrand said in a statement, "As we learn the lessons of the storm, we must develop a national, storm-resilient strategy to ensure that communities across New York are armed with innovative practices to protect New York from future disasters."

Equipment will be installed above the 500-year flood level as identified on FEMA flood maps, Schumer and Gillibrand said in a statement. The money comes through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant, which aims to reduce danger to property during the next disaster.

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