SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Representatives of New York's gas station industry are concerned about an amendment to Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget that would require some stations to install proper wiring to accommodate backup generators during emergencies, reported The Post-Standard.
Cuomo made the announcement last week as part of his final edits to the proposed $142.6 billion budget.
The proposal would require station owners within one-half mile of a major highway or emergency route to rewire. The state would reimburse gas station owners up to $10,000 for the re-wiring requirements, which is expected to cover the cost.
Not covered by the state, however, is a second requirement for these gas stations to be prepared to hook up a generator within 24 hours of an emergency. The stations are not required to buy and maintain a generator. But stations must have plans in place to get a generator up and running within 24 hours of an event.
"It's going to be hard for the Upstate stations to eat this," Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations & Repair Shops, told the newspaper.
Bombardiere said convincing Upstate station owners of the value of the policy in the aftermath of several natural disasters last year that mostly affected Downstate New York station owners is a challenge.
"The upstate stations may say 'It didn't happen to me'," Bombardiere said.
The state has about 6,000 stations, said the report; under the proposal, 2,000 would have to prepare to operate off the main electrical grid. If passed by the legislature, the station owners would have a year to make the changes.