Air board wants gas pump clips removed

July 26, 2010 7:07:49 PM PDT
A convenience for drivers at the gas station could soon be eliminated if the California Air Resources Board gets its way. It wants those clips that let you pump your gas without holding the nozzle removed.

Most consumers agree those clips on gasoline nozzles are convenient. Just engage it, and you can do other things while filling your tank -- wash your windows, check your e-mail or just daydream.

"I put it on and then I lean against the car, kind of look around and wait for it to be filled. I don't have to use my hands; I'm so lazy," driver Shirley Robinson said.

But the California Air Resources Board is recommending 3,000 gas stations statewide with nozzles marked "VST" to remove those clips while agency works with the manufacturer.

The nozzles were recently introduced in California and may have a design flaw.

In the last couple of months, 11 fuel spills have occurred around the state because of possibly defective clips.

"Because public safety is our No. 1 concern here, we wanted to make sure there are no further incidents, we want to minimize all risk, as much as possible," California Air Resources Board spokesperson Stanley Young said.

Even minor fuel spills contribute to the formation of smog and the state worries about flammable material on the ground. So, in one-third of the state's gas stations that use VST nozzles, consumers will have to work on their grip.

"If there's a significant danger to it and it causes some sort of harm to somebody, whether it's environment or individuals, then I'll deal without the clip," driver Lyn Christopulos said.

But old habits are hard to break, especially the convenient ones.

"I think it's ridiculous that they take it off because it pops by itself whenever it gets full," driver Andew Medina said.

The California Air Resources Board also says sometimes as you are holding the nozzle in your hand and as you press the grade you want, gas starts coming out of the VST brand.


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