According to the Los Angeles Daily News, California gas station operators have known since 2000 that they would have to install new nozzles on their gas pumps by tomorrow's deadline. And yet at least 2,000 of the 3,900 stations in the Southern California region and 60 percent of stations statewide have failed to do exactly that. The California Air Resources Board ruled nine years ago that gas pumps would have to be equipped with enhanced vapor recovery nozzles that capture and recirculate the gasoline vapors that inevitably escape while pumping gas.

Unfortunately, the narrow margins of gas retailing and high cost of the nozzles has made stations owners reluctant to spend the money. The equipment costs roughly $11,000 per pump.

Starting April 1, stations that haven't upgraded will start to face fines that will be ramped up toward the end of this year. Stations that haven't made the changes by the end of 2009 face closure.


[Source: Los Angeles Daily News | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]