How to get a free gas meter in New York City
The free gas meters are rolling out in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with the New York metro area and surrounding areas expected to follow suit.
The stations are meant to replace expensive, time-consuming, and occasionally illegal parking meters, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
But critics say the free meters could be used for anything from collecting tax refunds to making illegal phone calls to collecting money from people.
The EPA’s proposal calls for the stations to be staffed by people with the appropriate skills, but critics say that’s too easy.
“These are people who are paid to do a job and are not trained to enforce a law,” said David Loomis, a former federal prosecutor who is now a public defender at the U.S. Department of Justice.
“There’s no way that’s a good way to do it.”
Loomis said the stations would require a phone call or a visit to the office of a local law enforcement official before they can be used.
“If a resident has a complaint and they want to go to the local office and ask a question, they’re going to be turned away,” LoomIS said.
“But if you are going to do something illegal, you have to have the legal authority to do that.
And this is a new legal authority.
It’s not going to happen unless there is some evidence that this is being done legally.”
While the stations have been in operation in some communities for years, the EPA’s request for public comment is the first time it’s been brought forward as a proposal.
The EPA said it will consider public comment on the proposal through Dec. 31.
The agency is also proposing to establish a $10 million incentive program to pay for training and technical assistance to the companies that build and operate the stations.