Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker today extended the temporary lifting of the prohibition on self-service gas until May 9.
As WW reported earlier, owners of independent gas stations represented by the Oregon Fuels Association asked Gov. Kate Brown for a temporary suspension of the ban on self-service because they said they faced a shortage of pump attendants, many of whom were ill or disinclined to work face to face with the public.
On March 28, Walker's office agreed to a temporary rule change and, on April 11, extended that change until April 25.
Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states that don't normally allow self-service gas. (A 2017 Oregon law allows self-service in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents.)
The temporary rule allowing self-service does not require station owners to permit the practice and it does require them to have staff on hand to assist motorists if they need help.
Walker today decided to stick with that practice for another couple of weeks.
"We want to thank Oregonians and Oregon businesses for being flexible during these challenging times," he said in a statement. "As we continue to monitor this ongoing situation, we feel it is best to extend this option for an additional two weeks."
Danelle Romain, a lobbyist for the Oregon Fuels Association, applauded the move.
"Like many small businesses, Oregon's locally owned fuel stations are facing incredible challenges," Romain said in a statement. "Helping them keep fuel attendants safe by giving customers the option of pumping their own fuel is significant. The self-service option is allowing employees to shift their focus from close, face-to-face interaction with customers to keeping pumps and payment mechanisms clean and sanitized for the next customer."