HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A temporary injunction has been ordered stopping the Town of Hempstead from imposing fines for gas station owners who do not offer free air to motorists.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, there has been a battle for years between gas station owners and the Town of Hempstead.

In 2016, a law that was enacted made it illegal for gas station owners not to offer free air for motorists to use for the tires on their cars.

Gas station owners said they need to make money, and also said it costs money to run the air machines – which they have to buy or lease and maintain.

In the past, town authorities said the law helps keep drivers safe.

Kevin Beyer of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association said his organization tried to work with the town on a different solution.

“We told the town, the company that installs this equipment said, ‘We would put free air at certain sites around the town – at their parks, they would have a spot that they can go get the free air if they need it,’” Beyer said.

Beyer also said nearly every owner would help someone if they did not have money for the air machine.

“They would automatically get air,” he said. “If they were stuck in an emergency situation, we would provide the air for them.”

A judge issued a temporary injunction banning the town from enforcing the law until both sides are back in court next week. Penalties for violating the law include fines of $10,000.

A representative said the Town of Hempstead does not comment on pending litigation.

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