Keep Gas Stations Open During Blackouts


Legislation at a Glance

22: Keep Gas Stations Open During Blackouts


New York State Consolidated Laws, Agriculture and Markets Article 16, Section 192-h


During blackouts, most service stations are unable to sell gas because the pumps rely on electricity. Following Superstorm Sandy, about half of NYCʼs service stations were not operational, delaying recovery efforts and disrupting work and life for hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses.

This law directs gas stations to install wiring that will accept a backup generator readily after an event. Stations must deploy and install a generator within 24-48 hours after losing power during an emergency.

New Requirements or Changes

Effective: March 29, 2013. These changes apply both retroactively and to new construction.

  1. Stations within a half-mile of a highway exit or hurricane evacuation route in these downstate areas will need to be wired with a transfer switch by April 1, 2014. They must deploy and install a generator within 24 hours of losing power in an emergency.
  2. In addition, 30 percent of all retail outlets that are part of a chain further than a half-mile from highway exits and evacuation routes in these downstate areas will be required to install a transfer switch by August 1, 2015. They must deploy and install a generator within 48 hours of losing power.
  3. All newly constructed gas stations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties for which a building permit is issued on or after April 1, 2014 will be required to have wiring to deploy a generator or have a back-up generator installed.
  4. Gas stations selling less than 75,000 gallons of fuel per month are exempt. More information (including NYSERDA grants available to gas station owners to defray the cost of adding alternate power sources) is available at nysandyhelp.ny.gov/fuel-ny.


These requirements are part of New York State law and will be enforced by New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Bureau of Weights and Measures.


There are no known issues for the implementation of this state law. Transfer switches and generators are widely used and available.