Generator bills emerge in Sandy aftermath

TRENTON – A bill that would require certain businesses to have generators on site has been introduced.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, (D-28), Newark, introduced legislation requiring critical businesses and facilities – including gas stations, refineries and nursing homes – to have generators in the event of power outages and providing low-interest government loans to help ease the cost.

Bill A3064, an outgrowth of superstorm Sandy, would require motor fuel dealers, wholesalers,  terminal facilities, and refineries, as well as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and groceries to be equipped with a generator in the event of a power outage.

The bill would also require the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to offer financial assistance in the form of low-interest loans to eligible businesses for the purchase and installation of a generator.

“Ultimately, our aim is to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents while ensuring that our state does not come to a standstill during any future crisis,” Caputo said in a statement. “The delivery of critical goods and services, especially fuel, are an imperative to keep our economy running. It’s frustrating to think that the gasoline crisis we witnessed due to power outages could have been avoided.”

In the aftermath of Sandy, other lawmakers have introduced similar measures.

*Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen David Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, all legislators from the 10th legislative district, introduced a package of bills designed to better prepare the state, including one that requires newly constructed grocery stores, including supermarkets and convenience stores, to be equipped with automatic standby emergency power generators.

*Sen. Barbara Buono, (D-18), Metuchen, introduced legislation that would provide key businesses with assistance in purchasing power generators by way of Economic Development Authority low-interest loans.

*And Sen. Ron Rice, (D-28), Newark, also said he would introduce a bill which would require residential facilities for seniors and individuals with disabilities to have back-up generators in place to ensure minimal loss of electricity during power outages.

*And Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, (R-26), said earlier she would have a bill that would require gas stations, nursing homes and other critical care facilities to have generator backup power.

Generator bills emerge in Sandy aftermath