• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Calif. gas stations may face fines

March 31, 2009 1:18:02 PM PDT
Thousands of California gas stations are facing the possibility of significant fines as new emissions regulations go into effect on Wednesday.Starting April 1, the California Air Resources Board requires all gas stations, roughly 11,000 in number, to have enhanced vapor recover mechanisms, or EVRs, fitted on every pump. The EVRs capture 98 percent of the emissions that escape from the nozzle as gas is pumped into a vehicle. Most stations currently have equipment that captures 95 percent of emissions.

According to CARB, just 20 percent of the state's gas stations have installed the new equipment, which can cost several thousand dollars per pump.

Stations that have not done so could be subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per month, depending on how many pumps they operate.

Tom Kise, spokesman for the Responsible Clean Air Coalition, told the Associated Press, "If they had the money to buy the equipment, they wouldn't need to pay the fine."

Some station owners have said the ongoing difficulty in accessing credit has made it impossible for them to get the money to install the equipment.

CARB spokesman Dmitri Stanich points out that gas station owners have known this was coming since 2000, when the EVR legislation was passed. He acknowledges that it took six years for the state to certify the new equipment, but he adds that still left station owners with time to obtain permits and install the EVR systems.

Despite calls from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and several legislators to delay implementation of the new regulations for 12 months, Stanich says the deadline will be enforced. However, he says local air quality management district offices will have the discretion to consider each station owner's specific circumstances before imposing fines.


MORE L.A. BREAKING NEWS, WEATHER, TRAFFIC, SPORTS

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP || REPORT TYPO || TWEET @abc7 ||  WIDGET


Load Comments