A week after superstorm Sandy hit Long Island three months ago, Nassau Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) filed legislation to require all county gas stations to have an alternative energy source for pumping gas when the power goes out.
Since then, the Republican-controlled Hempstead Town Board proposed and enacted a similar law requiring all gas stations that pump 100,000 gallons or more a month to have a backup generator.
But Denenberg’s proposal has yet to even be put on the calendar for consideration by the Republican-controlled county legislature.
Frank Moroney, spokesman for the Republican legislative majority, said Denenberg’s proposal “has not been dismissed.”
He said there are calls in Albany for similar measures to prevent the shortages initially created when gasoline stations were unable to pump their existing fuel because of the blackout.
“What we want to do is get a feel for what the state is going to do and then make sure what we do is not in conflict with the towns,” Moroney said. “Conceptually, having gone through Sandy and other power outages and gas shortages, some kind of backup power situation needs to be in place. It makes a lot of good public policy sense. Our goal is to make sure we don’t have a patchwork quilt of regulations.”
Denenberg responded, “The only reason why it hasn’t been called is because its sponsored by a Democrat.”
Under Denenberg’s bill, the alternative power source could be a manual-, battery- or generator-operated pump. The legislation was modeled on a similar Florida law.