Governor Implements Odd-Even Gas Rationing in NYC Area

Second storm exacerbates fuel supply-chain disruption; FEMA helping supply retail outlets

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a gasoline-rationing plan in Nassau County, Suffolk County and New York City to reduce lines at the region's gas stations.

"Due to additional fuel supply disruptions caused by the Nor'Easter which hit the region last night, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the City of New York have decided to implement temporary fuel management measures to reduce lines at retail gasoline stations. The plans are regionally synchronized and all will have the same rules. The plans will impose odd-even rules on the purchase of gasoline for noncommercial vehicles and have been designed in coordination. Westchester, Rockland and Orange will not have fuel management measures at this time."

He added, "The state will continue to coordinate among local governments, as well as the federal government, to ensure that the any fuel management measures are planned and implemented in conjunction with the Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy and the petroleum industry."

A partial failure of a terminal served by the Buckeye Pipeline, which pumps approximately 4.5 million gallons of gasoline per day into the New York City and Long Island area, occurred due to power failures Wednesday night. While power was restored this morning, there was an interruption in the fuel supply chain to those regions. Fuel supply to the northern suburbs is largely unaffected by this terminal going off line.

Under the plans adopted by the counties and the city, odd-even fuel sales will take effect in Nassau, Suffolk and the five boroughs of New York City at 5:00 am EST Friday, Nov. 9. The plan will require stations to only sell fuel to drivers with vehicles bearing license plates that correlate in odd-even terms with the day of the month.

Out of state plates will be subject to the same requirements.

The requirement does not apply to filling of fuel cans, commercial vehicles, taxi or limousine fleets or emergency fleets, nor does it apply to hand-held gasoline cans.

The duration of the fuel management plan will be determined by the counties and the city in coordination with the state.

Meanwhile, as post-Hurricane Sandy gasoline shortages persist in some parts of the state of New York, Cuomo and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) are working with retailer organizations to provide emergency supplies of motor fuel where needed.

Under an emergency fuel program launched this week, FEMA has begun offering to deliver loads of motor fuel to New York gas stations and convenience stores unable to obtain product from their normal source of supply. Retailers statewide are eligible.

"We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and FEMA for taking this initiative to help restore stability to the motor fuel marketplace in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy," said James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), one of eight trade organizations spreading the word to retailers about the program.

He noted that because it is a government program, there are strings attached. Retailers wishing to participate first must sign a 16-page contract with the state Office of General Services addressing pump price, retail margin and other terms of sale. Retailers wishing to participate should first have their legal counsel review the contract before signing and submitting it, said Calvin.