By Angie Koford
Editor’s note: April is Earth Month at DEQ. We’ve invited guest bloggers to share their thoughts on the ways individuals, businesses, governments, and universities can contribute to making our world a little greener.
Warmer spring temperatures make me want to spend my weekends working in the yard. Time to get out the lawn equipment — which means it’s time to get out the gas cans. But wait! Did you know that a portable gas can emits chemicals that are harmful to you and your family, especially if you have young children, elderly people, or individuals with asthma in your household? That storing gas cans in the garage isn’t recommended because it allows toxic gasoline vapors into your house?
The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) is committed to improving Utah’s air quality and reducing harmful emissions. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Chevron to hold a four-county gas-can exchange event on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Residents who come to the event can exchange their old, empty gas cans for a FREE environmentally friendly can.
Beginning in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required emission standards for gas cans. These new standards have lowered volatile organic compound (VOC) and harmful carcinogenic emissions from portable gas cans by 75 percent.
Gas cans release VOCs in a number of ways:
- Vapors permeate the walls of containers
- Fumes escape while fuel is being dispensed
- Fuel can spill as it is being poured into equipment.
- Secondary vent holes allow spills and gas evaporation.
- Inadequately capped spouts allow gas evaporation.
The new containers prevent these releases through the following features:
- Automatic shut-off feature prevents overfilling.
- Automatic closing feature seals the can when not in use, prevents vapor leaks, and protects children from accidental spills and ingesting gasoline.
- Secondary venting holes are eliminated so fumes won’t vent into the air.
- Thicker walls reduce vapor permeation.
The Gas Can Exchange Program is the first of its kind in Utah and will help our state come into compliance with the EPA standard. Making this small change can have a large impact on our air quality. We hope to see you there!
The UCAIR gas-can exchange event will be held on April 11th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the four locations listed below. Please empty any gas in your can into your gas-powered equipment before you bring it to the exchange. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provo Towne Center Mall
1200 Towne Center Blvd.
Provo, UT 84601
Chevron (north parking lot at the station)
300 W 2100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
1855 Skyline Drive
Ogden, UT 84403
1997 E 3500 North
Layton, UT 84040
I am the Project Coordinator for UCAIR. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Weber State. I have been married for 16 years and have three children. My husband and I enjoy our beautiful mountains in Utah and traveling other places on adventures together.