January 3, 2000
A Woodinville business owner was cited for illegally transporting gasoline in plastic fruit-juice containers.
Staff photo by Marshall Haley.
by Marshall Haley, staff reporter
WOODINVILLE--The State Patrol cited a Woodinville business owner for two misdemeanors for illegally transporting gasoline last Tuesday, Dec. 28, at around 4:30 p.m. The man was stopped on Woodinville-Duvall Pl. after filling several plastic, 45-gallon fruit-juice concentrate containers with gasoline at a local Arco station.
The containers full of gas were secured to a flat-bed trailer with truck load straps, but the trailer had no side or rear rails. The unidentified man said he feared gas stations might shut down for days or weeks after Y2K, and his business had 35 vehicles that depended on fuel.
"The Unified Fire Code prohibits storing gas in unapproved containers," said Woodinville Fire Marshal Joel Kuhnhenn, who was investigating the incident. "Transporting gas containers like that, in an open truck without sideboards, could cause a major tragedy if he got in a wreck. We don't want to ruin his business, but our main concern is to protect the public."
The man said he was shown special gas pump locks and a "Y2K Emergency Manual" at the nearby Texaco station. He said he was told that the manual--allegedly sent by Texaco to every one of their stations in the country--gave station attendants special instructions on when and how to close the stations in the event of widespread panic after Y2K.
"The station attendant who sold him the gas is probably facing charges too," said Woodinville Police Sgt. Kent Baxter. "There's a limit on the size of recreational-use gas containers. It's very dangerous to transport large quantities of gasoline. That's why gas companies deliver gas in big trucks built with triple-wall, steel construction."