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Montgomery County Reminds Residents to Use Approved Containers for Transporting or Storing Gasoline

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 17, 2021

In light of the current demand for gasoline, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents about proper storing, transporting, and disposing of gasoline. The County is also asking residents not purchase more gasoline than they need for their vehicles and/or lawn equipment.

Under federal law, gasoline must be stored and transported in a Department of Transportation approved container. When transporting gasoline in a portable container, make sure the container is secure from tipping and sliding, and never leave in the direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.

Montgomery County residents may take unwanted gasoline to the Household Hazardous Waste drop-off at the Montgomery County Transfer Station at Shady Grove.

The Maryland Department of the Environment has the following safety guidelines for filling gasoline containers:

  • Keep gasoline away from ignition sources like heat, sparks, and flames.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Shut off the vehicle’s engine. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.
  • Only store gasoline in containers with approved labels as required by federal or state authorities.

Never store gasoline in glass or unapproved containers.

  • Portable containers must be placed on the ground, and the nozzle must stay in contact with the container when filling, to prevent buildup and discharge of static electricity. Do not fill a container in or on a vehicle, including in car trunks or truck beds.
  • Fill the container at a slow rate. This will decrease the chance of static ignition buildup and minimize incidents of spillage or splattering.
  • Manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process.
  • Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.
  • Never siphon gasoline by mouth. Do not put gasoline in your mouth—gasoline can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor immediately.
  • Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin, because it may cause irritation.
  • Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air.
  • Never use gasoline to wash your hands.
  • Remove gasoline-soaked clothing immediately.
  • Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.
  • Place cap tightly on the container after filling, and do not use containers that do not seal properly.
  • If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before placing container in your vehicle.
  • Report spills to the fueling station attendant.
  • Use gasoline as a motor fuel only. 

For questions or concerns about improper use of gas containers check the Maryland Depart of the Environment website: or dial 866-633-4686.

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Release ID: 21-362
Media Contact: Cindy Pena, 202-875-1563
Categories: Environment, Public Safety, Transportation