In 2007, the EPA mandated that all gas cans made from 2009 onward conform to a set of regulations that, combined with the requirements of the Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention Act of 2008, resulted in a redesign of portable fuel containers which made them more difficult to use.

Specifically, gas cans must now:

  • Use spouts that close automatically, requiring constant force to keep them open
  • Use a child-resistant opening mechanism on all openings
  • Leak no more than 0.3g per gallon per day of hydrocarbon emissions

Effectively, this creates several problems:

  • The user must apply constant force on the spout opening mechanism while pouring, which makes holding the container while pouring more difficult than a regular container, especially with larger, heavier containers.
  • The user must operate the child-resistant mechanism before pouring, which makes maintaining force on the opening mechanism more difficult.
  • There is no practical way to include a vent; while not explicitly banned by the EPA regulations or the Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention act, any other opening would require its own child-resistant, automatically-closing cover that would have to be operated simultaneously with the main spout.

There is no shortage of articles and videos detailing the issues with the new design.

Have there been any organized attempts, e.g. petitions or legislation introduced, to get the government to reverse these regulations?

  • Relevant to the issue at hand diy.stackexchange.com/questions/67886/… Feb 7, 2020 at 18:41
  • It's clear from this Q. that badly designed gas cans exist, but it's unclear that they are the only kind of cans that are allowed to exist. Please elaborate on why it would not be possible to make a gas can that both meets the 2020 specs and is easy to use.
    – agc
    Feb 11, 2020 at 17:18
  • @agc I believe that aspect is addressed with the list following Effectively, this creates several problems....
    – zaen
    Feb 12, 2020 at 4:57
  • @zaen, Sorry, but it remains unclear whether the problems listed are problems specific only to retrofitting newly obsolete gas can designs ill-suited to the new regulations, as opposed to any ergonomic gas cans designed from the ground up to meet the current spec.
    – agc
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:30
  • An example of a newer spec-compliant design, the "Surecan".
    – agc
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


Have there been any organized attempts, e.g. petitions or legislation introduced, to get the EPA to reverse this regulation?

There are active petitions:

I could find no Federal legislation attempting to overturn the regulation.

There is activity in Michigan concerning the regulation.

Michigan House: Resolution encourages Congress to repeal EPA standards for design, April 26, 2017.

State Rep. Brett Roberts spoke before the [Michigan] House Natural Resources Committee today in support of a resolution he introduced to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from overregulating the design of portable gas cans.

The Natural Resources Committee overwhelmingly approved the resolution. It now moves to the full House for consideration.

Michigan House: Johnson bill to exempt Michigan-made gas cans from federal regulation receives hearing, September 16, 2019.

State Rep. Steve Johnson recently testified before the House Commerce Committee in support of House Bill 4717, which allows gas cans made, sold and used in Michigan to not conform to federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.


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