Department of Environmental Conservation

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Improved Portable Fuel Containers (PFCs)

Protect Your Health and the Environment

Think all portable gas cans are created equal? You may not realize it, but that old gas can in your garage is likely contributing to air and water pollution and it could be impacting your family's health.

New gas cans help to prevent spills during equipment fueling, evaporation during fuel storage and exposure to dangerous vapors.

While pollution from a single gas can seems insignificant, the total number of such containers account for over 100 tons per day of smog-forming pollution in New York State.gas can

New Gas Can Features

Look for a gas can with:

  • an automatic shut-off feature preventing overfilling of power equipment fuel tanks.
  • an automatic closing feature that seals the can when it is not being used
  • no secondary venting hole

Safer Gas Cans

Needed for Clean Air

Evaporative emissions from gas cans include hazardous air pollutants like benzene, which is a carcinogen. If gasoline is stored in a garage, fumes from the container may contaminate the air we breathe in our homes. Overall, new gas cans will improve air quality by reducing ozone pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Needed for Clean Water

Even small amounts of gasoline can contaminate surface and groundwave. Of particular concern is the gasoline constituent methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBF), which can quickly contaminate drinking water sources.

Using Gas Cans

Remember, when you fill up your lawn mower, chain saw, snowmobile, motorboat, or jet ski, do it in the safest possible matter.

  • Use a new gas can that is designed to minimize toxic spills and vapors.
  • Whenever possible, fill small engines on a concrete or hard surface.
  • Avoid spilling gasoline on the ground, in lakes, ponds or rivers.
  • Store all gasoline containers in a well-ventilated shed or detached garage, away from the reach of children.
  • Buy and use gasoline in the season it is purchased.

Report spills to the NYS Oil Spill Hotline: (800) 457-7362 or from outside NYS (518) 457-7362.