Interesting story about home automobile gasoline filling stations in residential property

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Interesting story just developed over the past two months that I figured I'd let you know about in case it happens to you.
For about five years, I've been in an unfriendly situation with my nearest neighbor (over past events with the kids getting into trouble and barking loose dogs).
Then, the past two months, no less than 5 inspectors came to my property to check for hazardous conditions due to 'anonymous' complaints.
The first was the fire marshall who was told I had 'large gasoline tanks' on the property. Turns out, fuel containers of fewer than 60 gallons each are exempt from fire marshall permit needs (a permit application alone, he told me, is over $750).
That didn't strike me as too weird until the zoning guys dropped by. They said someone complained about an improper 'accessory structure' used to house gasoline. Turns out any accessory structure that is six feet from the property line meets zoning requirements, so he left me alone.
It started to get weirder when the building inspector showed up for the same reason (don't these guys talk to each other?). He too left empty handed. Apparently an accessory structure only needs a permit if it's greater than 120 square feet and if its highest point is greater than 14 feet tall.
I knew someone had it in for me when, a month later, my wife called me at work to say there was a guy snooping around the property without even knocking on the door! She called the police and then called me!
Turns out, it was a hazmat inspector who had received a complaint about a 'primary container' leaking with no 'secondary containment' in place. He left before I arrived but told my wife that there was nothing he could or would do unless it was actually leaking as there are no storage regulations for private property other than you can't actually leak gasoline into the ground.
He did suggest a 'secondary containment' of an oblong horse trough though.
I rushed home early from work to find both the police and yet another inspector talking to my wife in the back yard. This inspector was from the air quality management district. He said that organic fuel gas tanks less than 260 gallons were exempt from vapor recovery & pressure venting requirements, so he left before the cop finished asking questions.
The cop seemed amused by the whole story - but he asked a LOT of questions about the gas cans lying around.
Turns out that you can't transport anything heavier (yes, heavier) than 500 pounds of "fuel" in a vehicle (not counting the vehicle's gasoline tank itself) which he said was 62 gallons of gasoline (#11160 title 13 California Code of Regulations & 32000.5a California Vehicle Code). He also mentioned that 172.504c Title 49 of the code of Federal Regulations requires a placard if you carry more than 1,000 pounds of gasoline.
Since I'm only carrying about 50 gallons, I'm exempt from that too!
All in all, an interesting story. Now, I do have a sense of humor so I have to figure out how I can get my neighbor back.
Have you ever engaged in these type of neighborly wars? Any good ideas?
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worker bee wrote:


There is an awful lot about gasoline and gasoline containers in your story.
Do you keep a lot of gas cans on your property - in full public view?
Do you handle a lot of gas cans (moving them around) on your property?
Is there a constant odor of gasoline hanging around your property that the neighbor can smell? Or can the neighbor see you and your gas cans without too much effort?
The average home owner might have a few 5-gallon cans for lawn mowers or other small gas-powered engines - but it sounds like you dick around with so much gas that you must make a living out of it somehow. Do you own/operate a yard-maintainence or landscaping company (lots of lawn mowers, small tractors, etc)? Or construction equipment (back-hoe, etc)?
Or maybe you have lots of recreational vehicles? Boats or other watercraft? Dirt bikes or ATV's?
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On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 22:01:09 -0500, Home Guy wrote:

I have 10 five-gallon Blitz gasoline containers & a 55 gallon drum where I pour them into, about once a month or so (as needed). So most of the time the 10 red cans are empty (caps loose, open to the atmosphere) and the 55-gallon drum is how I dispense gasoline to two vehicles with a gasoline pump.
The neighbor can see into my back yard, as I can see into his as there are few surrounding trees - only small shrubs which afford no great means of privacy unfortunately.

Once a month or so, I fill the 10 5-gallon portable gasoline containers at a filling station and use them to refill the 55-gallon drum. Other than that, they don't 'move' around my property.

No way would there be an odor. There is way too much wind for that. Plus there are no vapors to speak of that one could smell. They're all closed containers when full. However, the neighbor 'can' see the whole operation from where he sits as he is slightly elevated over me and there are scant foliage to hide my perfectly legal activities.

No. I just fill my vehicles as needed. It takes about four to eight weeks (average might be about six, but it varies) to empty the 55-gallon drum, which necessitates a refill.

No. Just your average tools. Riding mower. 2-stroke blower. Stile chain saw. Four-bladed edger & cultivator. Weed trimmer. 2-inch wood chipper. Just the normal stuff. Why do you ask?

One motorcycle. Two cars. A half dozen regular yard engines. Normal stuff. But they all use gasoline to the tune of roughly fifteen or so gallons a week (give or take a few).
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On 3/12/2011 9:15 p.m., worker bee wrote:

Why can't you fill your car at the gas station like everybody else???.
At the moment the gas goes to the 5 gallon tank ( 10 times) to the 55 gallon drum (10 times) then to the car. Why all the stuffing around ??? Do it once!!!
If you want to upset your neighbor order him a dozen piazza or a load of shingle.
--
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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On Sat, 03 Dec 2011 23:35:44 +1300, bugalugs wrote:

Other than the unexpected inspector visits, it's just so very much easier to fill up once every two months at the filling station.
It's all about the sheer convenience of gassing up at home.
On a different scale, it's the same reason you get water out of the tap, instead of bringing a bucket to the village well every time you need a drink.
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On 12/3/2011 9:02 AM, worker bee wrote:

I would have to agree with you. I never understood the charm of just being able to pull into a gas station and buy gasoline on demand and let others deal with transporting and storing it. And even worse there are three local cash only stations that charge less and pump it for you...

Not at all, you said you go to a gas station to get a flammable liquid and put it in containers which you transport home and dump into another container which you then transfer again. How exactly is that more convenient than pulling into a gas station and saying "fill it up".
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there are alternatives.......
use your motor vehicles to fuel your lawn and other type stuff.
many modern vehicles have a schrader valve under the hood for service purposes. its a quick disconnect type device....
open hood, connect line, turn on key so electric fuel pump goes on and your all set. ,minimize amount of gasoline around but still keep some 5 gallon cans... ideally if you have a pick up you could add saddle tanks, and use the pick up as your fueling station
just quit filling the 55 gallon drum, or if you want to fill it and add fuel stabilizer..... it can sit for at least a couple years. always be prepared:)
neighborhood wars are never a good thing....... everyone looses
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worker bee wrote:

I gave 2 reasons in my last post why he might be doing this.

I did not anticipate this third reason.
Do the fumes make you high or something?

But you *are* bringing your bucket of gas back to your "village" by doing this!
And last time I checked, not too many people have a gasoline pipeline running to their home.
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With his reasoning I bet the next inspector toshow up will be from the white coat place.
Harry K
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On Sat, 3 Dec 2011 08:41:52 -0800 (PST), Harry K

Trolls aren't really crazy. They just make anybody who takes them seriously appear to be crazy.
--Vic
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To each his own, but for the most part it seems infinitely easier to schlep down to the gas station than to fill up a bunch of 10 gallon gas cans, hoist them into the drum one at a time, and then put them back until the next time. YYM(obviously)V

Not even close unless you tap into the gas pipeline running under your house. Actually what you are doing seems to be REALLY close to going to the village.
--
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until patients started presenting with sexually
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What convenience. I'll bet it takes you _longer_ to fill at home than it would at the station and you don't make special trips to gas up, just stop as you are going by anyhow. All that dicking aorund with cans, etc. is taking you a lot longer overall.
Harry K
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A while back federal laws changed so that every gas station pump had to be redesigned so that they would capture gas fumes before they escape into the atmosphere while your tank was being filled.
Your clever scheme makes a shambles of that effort to clean up the environment.
Putting the pollution you create aside, your scheme sounds a bit nuts.
Turning to your neighbor, do you think it would hurt if you stored all those red cans out of sight?
--
Dan Espen

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The people who state that it wuld be easier to just fuel up the car at the finning station are right, but they are missing the point. If the OP just fueled up at the ga station, he would have to find something else to do to irritate his neighbor.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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That's where midnight basketball comes in. With kareoke, and pig roast.
I'm sure other things will come to mind.

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Bullshit... You think that it is easier to do... Normal people don't store that much gas on their property unless it is in an inspected and licensed tank facility on some sort of commercial or farm type business...
In fact what you are doing is clearly asinine and you put yourself at risk of being terribly burned in a car accident at least six times a year since you idiotically decide to transport 50 gallons of gas in your car...
If for whatever reason you NEED to keep doing this your way, either buy a containment platform to keep your drum on in case it develops a leak (or you neighbor decides to damage it in some way so it leaks, then calls in to report fumes and seeing the drum wet/leaking which would result in a Hazmat response to your house and expensive environmental cleanup costs) OR buy two UL approved flammable liquids storage cabinets and store 5 of the 5 gallon containers in each cabinet inside your garage...
Yet you keep doing this knowing that your neighbors clearly object to it... You are setting yourself up to be in a position where even if someone commits an act of arson or some vandalism against you, you will end up having to pay for the damages it caused anyone else as you chose to store that large a quantity of fuel on your property when if you look at everyone else on your street, they probably have no more than 2 or 5 gallons of gas in a container and a 20 pound propane tank for a grill...
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On 12/3/2011 4:02 AM, worker bee wrote:

Not having to go to the gas station ever again is one of the great appeals of all-electric cars. These days, going to the gas station is a big drag.

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I hate filling my own tank, especially in the winter. I don't know which is worse though. If I had a stupid Volt, I'd have to plug it in every night, then plug it in every day at work. So, it is easier to fill with gas once a week or plug and unplug 10 to 12 times a week?
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What's the miles range on the volt? 40 or so per charge? A loser, compared to gasoline.

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How about we just use induction charging. You just park over the pad and you get out of the car and do nothing. Would that work? ⚡🚗
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