"Sometimes I don't have time to stand here and hold the gas pump, I have other things to do like get something to drink or in the morning when I'm rushing to work get something to eat" said Orland resident Teresa Nunez. Soon, for gas pumpers like Teresa that will no longer be an option. A gas station convenience, the tabs that hold down the gas lever while filling up will soon fall by the wayside. The state fire marshall has announced the mandatory removal on all Vapor System Technologies, nozzles which will affect approximately 3,000 gas stations statewide. Reports have indicated that these levers occasionally stick, allowing gas spillage. "If that's the reason their getting rid of it, then that's probably a good reason, I wouldn't like gas all over me" Nunez said.
Station owners are obligated to remove the VST brand of hold open latches by October 15th in order to remain in operation. But some gas station owners say this may end up causing more problems. "People will stick something in here, jam it in here because they don't want to stand there and hold it" said Tom Robinson, a Santa Clara gas station owner.
And customers have a few worries of their own. Many say without the use of the helpful levers, they will be forced to wait in line at the pump. "It's gonna really slow down the lines, people can put those levers on and fill their tanks up while their checking their oil, washing their windows" said Tim McMahon, a Chico resident.
The VST brand of nozzles were approved by Cal Fire and The California Air Resource Board in 2007. To date, 13 spraying incidents have been reported, seven of which involved customers being sprayed with gasoline.