AAFES Gas Limit
Published March 12, 2009
Why are gas purchases at the base gas station now limited to 24 gallons? Apparently when you hit the 24 gallon point the pump just shuts off. The gas station clerk said it was a safety issue, but couldn't explain further. Also, since you can just swipe your card right away again, the "policy" really isn't anything more than a hindrance. Could you enlighten us?
I sincerely apologize that clear information was not communicated to you at the facility when you asked, and thank you for the opportunity to clarify.
AAFES has been asked by command and customers to be able to have unattended fueling so that customers can still purchase gas after the facility has closed, and we are taking steps to provide the additional service of 24 hour unattended fueling for our customers at Buckley. All AAFES facilities that have unattended fueling have their pumps cut off at less than 25 gallons per transaction.
With attended fueling there is no cut off on the pump as we have associates monitoring the pumps while the facility is open. Customers are allowed to purchase any amount of gas, but if we are to have unattended fueling, purchases over 24 gallons will require a second transaction at the pump. If you are refueling a motor home with a 45 gallon tank you would be required to swipe your credit card a second time to do a second transaction.
The automatic cutoff is an environmental safety precaution against spills and accidents during unattended fueling. The state and federal Environmental Protection Agency release notification requires that all spills of 25 gallons or more be reported to state and federal regulatory agencies. A 24 gallon spill doesn't have much less of safety and environmental impact, other than detailed reporting, than a 25 gallon spill; however that is the limit set by the EPA. The big difference is not necessarily between 24 and 25 gallons, but without a limit a customer could have an accident and drive off leaving the pump pumping hundreds of gallons out onto the ground.
Unfortunately reprogramming the pumps to add and remove the cutoff limit is a technical process that would not be practical to do every morning and every evening. We have tried to manipulate the software in an attempt to program pumps five and six separately, the pumps that will be open for unattended fueling, but the software does not allow for that to be done.
I understand and apologize for the fact that having to do a second transaction can be an irritant on the occasion where a customer needs to pump more than 24 gallons of fuel. Based on the numerous requests to have 24 hour fueling capability, we hope the added service outweighs the inconvenience.