April 1st was the deadline for California gas stations to install new and cleaner pump nozzles or potentially close up shop because they were not in compliance with a 2000 rule from the California Air Resources Board. The problem for CARB was the gas vapors that escaped into the air, equivalent to smog-producing emissions of 450,000 cars a day, when using the old pumps. The problem for gas station owners was the $11,000 cost per pump to upgrade.
A new bill is moving through the state legislature, and will be voted on this coming week, that seeks to prevent the station shut-downs by capping fines for a year at $1,000 if the stations have not installed the new nozzles. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he is in favor of an "enforcement holiday" if the stations are making good-faith efforts to comply with the CARB rule. Another bill would create a fund to help gas station owners install the pumps.

[Source: San Francisco Chronicle]
Photo by bradleypjohnson. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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