Sullivan County moves to ban large gas purchases

Gas shortages have been spreading across New Jersey and the greater New York City area, sending frantic drivers ever further north in search of a fuel-up. The Times Herald-Record reported earlier today that shortages have begun to affect parts of Orange County.

In an effort to ensure that Sullivan County's gas pumps keep running, county manager David Fanslau announced at 6:30pm that any purchase of gasoline in an amount greater than that needed to fill the car, other than a small container for fueling a generator, would be prohibited until next Thursday. Exceptions will be made for agricultural uses.

Fanslau also said that his office has gotten reports of people seeking to fill storage tanks with gasoline in order to re-sell it in the New York City metro area, prompting worries about price-gouging.

Here is Fanslau's statement:

“The Limited State of Emergency that is in effect in Sullivan County will continue through 12:01 AM Monday, November 5, 2012.  The state of disaster has been declared due there being thousands of locations without power in Sullivan County due to Hurricane Sandy, and numerous county and town roadways remain with hazardous conditions.  Such conditions threaten or imperil the public safety of citizens of the County of Sullivan. The State of Emergency shall include the prohibition of purchasing gasoline or diesel fuel at retail locations in any quantity greater than that which would fill the vehicle, with the exception of a small container necessary to fuel a generator or similar machine, as well as an exception for Sullivan County Agricultural industry support.  This prohibition shall continue through 12:01 AM Thursday, November 8, 2012.

There is not currently a shortage of fuel in Sullivan County.  However, there have been reports of persons seeking to purchase large quantities of gasoline and or diesel fuel, in storage tanks in the backs of pick-up trucks, with the stated intent of reselling the fuel in the New York City metropolitan area.  There is a concern that price-gouging will occur.  There is also a concern that sufficient fuel supplies be available for Public Safety vehicles, Public Works vehicles, and local citizens.


I am requesting the assistance and cooperation of the retail fuel distributors in Sullivan County to take action to ensure that gasoline and diesel fuel will be available for the residents of Sullivan County.  I have also asked the Sullivan County Sheriff to take whatever action is necessary to safeguard the available fuel supplies for the people of Sullivan County, and to take action against any price-gouging that may occur.”