New York metro area gas stations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties, have begun receiving letters from the state to inform them that they must comply with a new law, which is aimed at providing wiring for generators to avoid the long lines, gas rationing and price gouging that ensued following Superstorm Sandy.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will cover most, if not all, of the costs of the upgrades through grants. In all, more than 1,500 gas stations — or about half of all in the nine counties — have been identified for the $17 million federally funded program.

Stations that sell less than 75,000 gallons of gas per month are exempt.

According to the new law, approximately half of all downstate gas stations in New York City, Long Island and Westchester and Rockland counties are now required to have back-up power in the event of an emergency, including:

•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 August 1, 2015. They must deploy and install a generator within 48 hours of losing power.

•All newly constructed gas stations 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.

The full list of stations, including a map, is available at

They would be eligible to receive up to $10,000 to install the transfer switch or as much as $13,000 if they add a permanent back-up generator.

According to the Journal News, Migdalia Rivera, co-owner of the Shell on Route 59 in Central Nyack, said her station lost power for more than two days after Sandy struck last October.

“We had maybe 15,000 gallons in the ground, if not more, that we couldn’t sell and there were obviously people that needed fuel,” Rivera said. “And then it caused so much chaos when got the lights back.”

At one point, she and her husband, Omar Isa, explored the idea about using a generator but the station’s electrical system wasn’t set up to power their four service islands and their convenience store. She estimated they lost about $30,000 in gas and store sales in the days following the storm.

Kudos NY on timely, positive action for certain.