Unless you drive a car powered by electricity or some form of home-brew biofuel, the chances are you visit a gas-station with some form of regularity. 

In fact, it’s probably become so mundane that you don’t even pay attention to that little metal hose any more. 

But on Thursday, the Obama administration announced a change in law that could mean your local gas pump will look a little different in the future. 

Since 1994, gas stations throughout the U.S. that did not meet strict air quality standards set by the EPA have had to fit rubber boots on gas pumps. 

Simple in design, the rubber boots create a seal between the filler flap and gas pump, preventing harmful gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. 

Gas Pump With Boot

Gas Pump With Boot

Because of their construction, the boots became a common consumable for gas-station owners, with ripped, perished and missing boots a common sight across the U.S.

When they were introduced, very few cars were built with gasoline recovery systems built-in, so the boots were a necessity to ensure good air quality. 

Since the mid-90s however, gasoline vapor recovery systems have become a standard feature on most cars as automakers strive to meet ever-tougher emissions standards. 

Today, the EPA estimates, over 70 percent of all cars on the road have vapor-recovery systems fitted as standard, rendering the little rubber boot obsolete. 

According to CNN,com, phasing out the obsolete boots could save $3,000 at each gas station where they were previously required by law. In total, 31,000 gas stations across the U.S. will be affected by the change in law. 

The change in law should also help motorcyclists and owners of recreational vehicles, who have complained for years that the black boots prevents them from easily filling their gas tanks up.


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