Big Change Coming To St. Louis Area Gas Stations

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PACIFIC, MO. (KTVI) - A Pacific, MO manufacturer is at the center of big changes coming to St. Louis area gas stations.

The plastic sleeves that cover gas pump nozzles will soon be a thing of the past.  That's because newer cars manage to capture fumes that the plastic covers were designed to trap.

Husky Corporation boasts of designing the only "all-in-one" product that allows gas stations to switch from the plastic covered nozzles to the traditional ones that will soon return.

Brad Baker is the company's executive vice president.  He says existing St. Louis area gas stations can make the switch beginning March 15.  New gas stations start using the conventional pumps now.

The new Mobile on the Run on Manchester Rd. near Geyer Rd. has the conventional style pumps without the plastic.  Customers we talked with said it makes pumping gas easier.

"I don`t have to fight with my gas nozzle anymore," said one customer.

"It's a lot easier," said another.

Husky is anticipating a big demand for their product.  It's called the EZ Connect.  It allows gas stations to switch out their existing nozzles in just a matter of minutes.  It's what the Mobile on the Run on Manchester Rd. is using.

Baker says gas stations lose money if they shut down pumps for an extended period of time.  He says his product doesn't take long to install.

"We've seen a huge increase in our orders right now," said Baker. "People are getting ahead of the curve."

Baker says the plastic covered nozzles are slower than the conventional ones.  So pumping gas won't take as long.

"All of those things will ultimately save small businesses money which will hopefully be passed on to the consumer," said Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

Baker says some of his competitors have outsourced their work overseas.  His company has not.

Husky produces thousands of the traditional gas nozzles every day.  The company sells to gas stations around the country and exports overseas.  The largest amount of Husky overseas sales is taking place in China.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources was scheduled to hold a meeting in St. Louis on Tuesday, February 26th about the gas pump change.  That meeting has been cancelled because of the weather forecast that included a winter storm for parts of Missouri.

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