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Friday, January 30, 2009

Regulation Expected to Push Gas Stations Out of Business

From Alfred Lee at the Pasadena Star-News, information that new environmental regulations in California will push some gas stations out of out of business:
Dozens, and potentially hundreds, of gas stations around California are choosing to shut down rather than comply with a state mandate that would require owners to purchase new equipment to reduce vapor emissions at the pump.

The requirement, known as Phase II in the state's Enhanced Vapor Recovery Program, is set to go into effect in April. It requires gas station owners to individually purchase tens of thousands of dollars of equipment designed to prevent harmful vapors from escaping into the air when gasoline is pumped.

But smaller retailers say that the requirement puts an unfair burden on businesses that don't sell enough gasoline to offset the extra cost - and that don't contribute much to the problem in the first place.

Among them is George Fasching, who after 31 years of selling gasoline at Fasching's Car Wash in Arcadia, stopped in December.

"I came to the decision that I was too small a volume operator to continue on with the expenses imposed by the bureaucracy of the state," Fasching said.

April's requirements would have cost him $35,000, he said. Fasching used to sell the gasoline as a convenience for his car wash customers, and blames the new regulations for forcing him to stop.

"It will have some effect on my business, but at least I have the relief that I don't have to deal with these people anymore," he said.

As of the end of December 2008, the South Coast Air Quality Management District had heard back from 3,109 of its 4,500 sites about EVR Phase II.

Seventy-six - or 2.4 percent - indicated they will be shutting down on April 1, 2009 rather than upgrade their sites...
Read the rest here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:21 AM

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