A second elected official from northeast Queens is now calling for local gas stations to have back-up generators to allow for the operation of fuel pumps during power outages.
Earlier this month, state Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Little Neck, introduced legislation that would force gas station owners to have back-up power sources in the case of a storm.
Under his bill, the generators would need to be available for use no later than 24 hours after a disaster and gas stations would have to get a transfer switch installed by a professional electrical contractor.
Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, has now filed a legislative service request for the law on Nov. 13 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s visit to the city. Residents in Halloran’s district have been forced to wait in long lines for gas.
“After seeing the effects of power outages at gas stations throughout the city, it seems a no-brainer,” he said. “The stations that had power in the early aftermath of the storm quickly ran out of gas, while the stations that had gas had no electricity to pump it.”
He said forcing gas station owners to install a generator would help to prevent the type of gas shortages through which city residents have suffered in recent weeks.
“It helps everyone, including the owners,” he said of the proposal to install generators. “We can discuss how we might incentivize their investment, but there’s no question that it would pay off for them in the long run.”
Halloran said the recent gas shortage prevented many northeast Queens residents from getting to work or purchasing food.
The councilman also recently called for Con Edison to move its power lines underground to prevent for the widespread loss of electricity that crippled sections of the city for weeks following Sandy’s visit.
“In each of the last three storms, falling trees have brought down the aboveground power lines and thousands of residents have been without power for days,” he said. “Until those lines are installed underground, we’ll get blacked out by every major storm.”