ALBANY, N.Y., June 9 (UPI) -- "Fuel NY" is an initiative to improve access to gasoline at New York service stations after a severe storm or other major weather event, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says.
"The lack of access to gasoline greatly interfered with recovery and restoration efforts following Superstorm Sandy," Cuomo said in a statement. "Fuel NY will provide first responders, essential personnel, evacuating residents and other motorists with peace-of-mind knowing that gas stations have the necessary back-up power capacity to distribute gasoline and get things back to normal as quickly as possible after a major storm."
Gas station owners/operators can apply for up to $10,000 per station to help install a transfer switch that will accept a portable emergency generator and up to $13,000 per station if they elect to install a transfer switch and a permanent back-up generator.
The state will fund up to $17 million for the program, Cuomo said.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will administer the grant program to enable gas stations to install the wiring necessary so they can connect portable emergency generators in the event of an extended power outage.
Additionally, a new website, nysandyhelp.ny.gov/fuel-ny, has been created to provide information on gas stations required to participate in the program.
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.
In addition, 30 percent of all retail outlets that are part of a chain further than half-mile from highway exits and evacuation routes in these downstate areas will be required to install a transfer switch by Aug. 1, 2015, state officials said.