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FAQ: Can an attendant still pump my gas? Self service allowed at Oregon stations during COVID-19 outbreak

“We need to ensure that critical supply lines for fuels and other basic services remain uninterrupted,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker

PORTLAND, Ore. — In response to COVID-19, gas stations will no longer be required to enforce regulations against self-service, according to a press release from Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. 

Walker said the state would be implementing new rules immediately, allowing people to pump their own gas, to ensure the health and safety of gas retailers.  

“During this unprecedented time of state emergency, we need to ensure that critical supply lines for fuels and other basic services remain uninterrupted,” Walker said.

The rules will be in place until at least April 11.

The self service option is at the discretion of each service station. A survey of gas stations by KGW over the weekend found that some went self service while others chose to remain full service.

His office has provided a list of questions and answers about the temporary changes:

Can I pump my own gas now in Oregon?

Yes, under this provision, you may pump your own gas through April 11, 2020.

Where in the state can I pump my own gas under this provision?

Anywhere (as long as it is allowed by the service station). 

Is this change mandatory or voluntary?

The change allows gas retailers to allow the self service of gasoline at retail stations. This is not mandatory and will be decided by individual service stations.

How will I know how to pump my own gas?

There should be instructions posted on the dispensing equipment. In addition, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, produced a flyer that operators may post at dispensers. The flyer provides safety instructions for the dispensing of gasoline, general operating instructions, and measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

What is a Class 1 flammable liquid?

Gasoline is categorized as a Class 1 flammable liquid. 

Do I have to have an attendant do anything?

Under this provision, no.

Will this be extended past April 11, 2020?

OSFM will continue to evaluate the need for an extension with industry representatives and other stakeholders.

What if a I need help?

At some locations, an attendant who is supervising the dispensing may be available for assistance.

What does the 10-hour limit mean?

Under this provision, if the owner meets the requirements of section C, the owner may allow self-serve fueling to occur without an attendant for 10 consecutive hours. 

Is this effective 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

Yes.

Will the equipment be cleaned?

This provision does require the operator to implement sanitation measures when an attendant is present to supervise the dispensing.

If I wish to use gloves, will they be provided?

Under this provision, the operator is not required to provide gloves. 

Will there always be at least one attendant to help me?

No. Under section C of this provision, an attendant may not always be present.

Will the OSFM be monitoring gas stations to make sure they are following the rules?

OSFM does not intend to actively monitor retail service stations for compliance. However, if our office receives information that a station may not be following the rules, we will reach out to them to provide education to assist them. 

Will OSFM write citations?

Our focus is to support both Oregon businesses and residents during this event and to help make sure everyone has access to gasoline during this crisis. 

Station owners who need help finding employees to cover shifts should contact Miriam Nolte (Miriam.l.nolte@oregon.gov; 503-612-4252) for help finding workers.

WATCH: Why don't we pump our own gas in Oregon? 

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