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L.I. counties' lawmakers propose gas-station blackout backups

Pumping at many gas stations became impossible due

Pumping at many gas stations became impossible due to the widespread power outages on Long Island. (Credit: AP)

One day after Nassau Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) proposed mandating county gas stations to have alternative means of pumping fuel if electricity goes out, Suffolk Legis. Steve Stern (D-Huntington) introduced a bill that would require his county’s gas stations be equipped with “transfer switches” to pump in the event of a long-term power outage.

A story on Denenberg’s measure is posted here. Below is Stern’s announcement issued yesterday:

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Huntington) 16th LD, has introduced legislation to require that gas stations in Suffolk County be equipped with “Transfer Switches” to enable them to pump fuel in the event of a long-term power outage.  The  continuing aftermath of “Super-Storm Sandy” has clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of Long Island’s fuel distribution system and left tens of thousands of residents waiting in long lines for hours to purchase gasoline needed to get to work and power  home generators.  While other factors have contributed to these shortages, many gas stations were unable to pump their existing fuel supplies, exacerbating an already difficult situation. 

Reliable availability of gasoline is not just a matter of convenience, but is necessary to protect our most vulnerable who depend upon generated power in extended outages, to our emergency responders who need fuel to power vehicles and to the restoration crews, who cannot work without access to gasoline. 

“Our local service stations are some of the most important businesses in our communities.  However, particularly during the most challenging times, they have an important public role to play,” Legislator Stern said.   “This is a reasonable, yet critically important initiative to help ensure that we are better prepared for emergencies in the future and are better able to rely on our local resources, especially during the first several days after a disaster.” 

Tags: Steve Stern , David Denenberg , Nassau , Suffolk , gas crisis

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