Panel Moves Greenwald Bill to Help Inform Residents of Places to Fuel Up During Emergencies

Measure Would Create a Database of Gas Stations in New Jersey, List Would Indicate Stations with Back-up Generator Equipment

(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Thursday moved legislation sponsored by Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald to create a database that will make it easier for the State to communicate locations of gas stations, including those with back-up generators, to the public during a crisis or ongoing emergency.

Greenwald noted the list would benefit residents during times of state emergencies such as severe weather occurrences–hurricanes, snow storms.

“When Sandy hit, residents were scrambling all over the state to locate places to buy fuel,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “We were driving miles to find an open gas station. The time spent in long lines and searching was, to say the least, frustrating. It was chaos.

“By creating a kind of gas station directory, we will make it easier for the State to help residents find fuel during these times of emergency and minimize the confusion that is likely to occur during future emergencies.”

The bill (A-3549) would direct the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety to create and maintain a database containing the names and locations of every premise in New Jersey where motor fuel is sold by a retailer. The database would be updated at least monthly and specify the following information: the types of motor fuel sold by the retail dealer and whether that dealer possesses back-up generating equipment on site.

“The energy shortage brought on by Hurricane Sandy can happen again. This bill is responsible government; a step forward in ensuring New Jersey is prepared in the future,” added Greenwald.

Under current law, the Governor is authorized to proclaim by Executive Order a state of energy emergency upon a finding that there exists a state of energy supply shortage which may endanger public health, safety, or welfare.

The measure will now go to the Assembly Speaker who will decide when to post it for a floor vote.