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What is the Law Regarding Gas Jugs and CARB Compliant Gas Containers?

Some people are confused about the legal way to transport and dispense gasoline to and in the desert. Desiree Bates asked staff at Ocotillo Wells and the BLM about what is legal and what is not.

From Ocotillo Wells State Park:

The laws regarding the CARB compliant fuel cans were put in place to minimize gasoline venting and spilling. The laws apply to the point of sale at this time, who knows what the future will bring. As of now, Ocotillo Wells SVRA is very similar to BLM in the enforcement of fuel issues. The Rangers will enforce laws in order to ensure the protection of the environment and public, so if a fuel container is leaking and spilling, the person will likely get spoken to. If someone is transporting fuel in an unsafe manner, they will also likely be spoken to. But our Rangers have not cited anyone for possession or use of a fuel container that is not CARB certified. The Rangers out here have cited folks for pouring gasoline on the ground and igniting it, but not for the type of container it was poured from.


From the BLM (Bureau of Land Managment):

They are currently NOT enforcing a gas can/utility jug law. They have NEVER written a violation for the safe use of a gas can/utility jug for gasoline transportation/usage. No matter the type of cap/pour spout that is used. However, they will site you for the unsafe handling/storage of any type of fuel container. If it's leaking or if your driving around and its flopping all over the back or your vehicle, you will be cited. They also stated that they call numerous state agencies and could not find one specific case where a citation was written for using a utility jug for gasoline storage. So, you can be sited for the following, in the dunes or on the road:

1. Carrying over 50 gallons on gasoline without a hazmat placard.

2. A leaking gas storage container.

3. Unsafe transportation of a fuel container.

I am sure there are other things you could be sited for, but using a VP STYLE utility jug in good working order for gasoline is not one of them. It is illegal for a retailer to sell this type of container advertising it for gasoline storage. Of course this is only for the state of California. Other states may vary. - Ed Stovin

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