Salem, Ore. – You can now pump your own gas at the gas station in Oregon, to help with social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. But you don’t have to pump your own gas. Attendants can still work and pump it for you.  The State Fire Marshal’s office says the new rule is in effect for two weeks, until April 11th.

Read more from Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Oregon’s COVID-19 Statewide Joint Information Center and the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) are
providing additional clarification related to yesterday’s announcement from the Office of the State
Fire Marshal, which temporarily suspended Oregon’s ban on self-service gas stations.

This temporary suspension does not make self-service mandatory. The intention is to ensure fuel is
available to essential personnel who need to travel. The Oregon Fuels Association (OFA) states,
“This change allows gas station attendants to help these customers while avoiding face-to-face,
hand-to- hand contact and apply social distancing practices. Attendants will sanitize equipment and
fuel nozzles and assist customers with refueling as needed.”

ODOE is responsible for maintaining a reliable source of fuel for Oregonians. The gas station
workforce has recently reduced by as much as 50 percent due to illness, childcare issues and safety
concerns according to the fuel industry. Self-service allows some gas stations to continue
operations with fewer staff and ensures Oregonians can refuel their vehicles.

OFA adds, “Unattended self-service will only happen if and when a gas station owner exhausts all
staffing options.” Those stations that do not have an attendant on hand are required to post safety
signs for social distancing as well as instructions for how to operate a fuel pump.

This temporary suspension is currently in effect through April 11, 2020, and may be extended by the
Oregon State Fire Marshal. Amidst the COVID-19, the goal of this change is to make refueling safer
for both customers and service station attendants, while keeping stations open.

This does not affect existing areas of the state already authorized for self-service refueling
under Oregon law. For more information, contact the Joint Information Center.

Oregon COVID-19 Joint Information Center (JIC) Staff, 503-373-7872, [email protected]

Read more from Oregon State Fire Marshal

In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on Oregon, the Office of State Fire Marshal is suspending regulations over self-service stations and implementing measures 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,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker.

A. Effective immediately today, until April 11 (two weeks from effective date), retail facilities of Class 1 flammable liquid transportation fuels prohibited from offering self-service refueling shall:

  1. Prepare, implement and enforce social distancing policies consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority,
  2. Require an attendant to be on duty to supervise self-service refueling consistent with the social distancing policies and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through sanitization measures, and
  3. Designate an employee at each station to implement and enforce the social distancing policies.

B. For retail facilities of Class 1 flammable liquid transportation fuels compliant with paragraph A, the State Fire Marshal’s office shall not enforce the self-service prohibition under ORS 480.310 through ORS 480.385.

C. Notwithstanding (A2), a station owner may only offer self-service without an attendant if:

  1. The owner retains documentation that there are no employees available to work as an attendant, including documentation for absences and employee hiring and retention efforts;
  2. The owner is subject to State Fire Marshal audit and has posted safety signs for how to safely operate a fuel pump; and
  3. The hours of operation under this subsection do not exceed 10 consecutive hours.

Station owners who need help finding employees to cover shifts should contact Miriam Nolte ([email protected]; 503-612-4252) for help finding workers.

For more information, please see our online FAQs.

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