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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Free gas-cap tests offered to motorists

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Carey Langston tests a gas cap on a Dodge, above. Such tests have been scheduled at several area sites. Carey Langston tests a gas cap on a Dodge, above. Such tests have been scheduled at several area sites.
KING / BLADE Enlarge

Does your vehicle's gas cap leak vapor?

If it does, it could cost you money, and contribute to the Toledo area's air pollution.

The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments has scheduled a series of free gas-cap testing checkpoints at filling stations and other locations throughout the metro area during the next seven weeks, with an eye toward conserving gasoline and improving air quality at the same time.

The first of the checkpoints will be held today at the Barney's convenience store on U.S. 24 in downtown Waterville, from noon to 4 p.m. Another is scheduled for tomorrow at a Sunoco station at 2205 North Holland-Sylvania Rd.

Jeremy Klocinski breaks ice to be bagged, at left, at Home City Ice Co. in Ottawa Lake as area residents turn to chilled drinks to beat the near-record heat. Jeremy Klocinski breaks ice to be bagged, at left, at Home City Ice Co. in Ottawa Lake as area residents turn to chilled drinks to beat the near-record heat.
WADSWORTH / BLADE Enlarge

During the check, gas caps are screwed onto an air pressurizing device that can detect if air is escaping, said Stephanie Rizor, the metropolitan council's ride-share coordinator.

"If air is escaping, then you know your gas cap is defective. And if it's leaking, we'll replace it for free," Ms. Rizor said.

Gasoline vapors contribute to hydrocarbon pollution that reacts with oxygen in the air to form ozone. While beneficial in the upper atmosphere, surface ozone is a pollutant that causes breathing problems, especially among the old and young and people who have respiratory trouble.

Heat and sunlight accelerate the ozone-forming reaction, which is why the metropolitan council times its air-quality campaign, Ozone Action!, for this time of year.

Last year, for the first time since the Ozone Action! campaign began in 1995, local officials declared no air-quality alerts for the Toledo area - though Ms. Rizor said that was probably courtesy of Mother Nature and not any great reduction in smog-producing pollutants.

"We had kind of a cool summer," she said.

Yesterday, despite forecasts for hot, sunny weather - the mercury topped out at 94, four degrees short of the June 7 record - no ozone alerts were declared either for metro Toledo or for metro Detroit, which tends to have more of them than Toledo.

Toledo officials who make the decision whether to call an alert could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the apparent reason one wasn't was because of steady breezes. They stir up the air enough to disperse any ozone that forms.

Hot weather is forecast to continue today and tomorrow, albeit with breezes and possible thunderstorms.

An ozone alert was declared yesterday in the Cleveland area.

Should any ozone alerts be called for the Toledo area this summer, they constitute a request that local motorists avoid unnecessary driving by combining trips and carpooling or using public transportation if possible. The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority waives bus fares on Ozone Action! Days.

The alerts also urge citizens to avoid using gas-fired grills or equipment with small gasoline engines, and to refuel vehicles only after 6 p.m., when fuel vapors are less likely to contribute to pollution problems.

Following are gas-cap testing sites. All tests are offered between noon and 4 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

Today - Barney's, 103 Anthony Wayne Trail, Waterville.

●Tomorrow - Sunoco, 2205 North Holland-Sylvania Rd.

●Monday - BP, 4306 Sylvania Ave., 1 to 4 p.m.

●Tuesday - BP, 2110 Ottawa River Rd., 7 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

●June 15 - Barney's, 1602 Wooster St., Bowling Green.

●June 16 - BP, 3211 Briarfield Blvd., Monclova Township.

●June 18 - AAA Car Care Express, 308 New Towne Square Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

●June 20 - Kroger, 3301 Navarre Ave., Oregon.

●June 21 - Barney's, 7349 West Central Ave., Sylvania Township.

●June 23 - Kroger, 4925 Jackman Rd.

●June 24 - Barney's, 497 West Dussel Drive, Maumee.

●June 27 - BP, 10730 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg.

●June 28 - BP, 9566 Clark Rd., Rossford.

●June 29 - Kroger, 27386 Carronade Drive, Perrysburg.

●June 30 - Gateway Express, 305 Clayton St.

●July 5 - BP, 6127 Monroe St., Sylvania.

●July 6 - Meijer, 1725 South Wheeling St., Oregon.

●July 7 - Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, 6:15 to 9 a.m.

●July 8 - Barney's, 103 Anthony Wayne Trail, Waterville.

●July 11 - Sunoco, 2445 West Alexis Rd.

●July 12 - Shell, 822 Monroe St.

●July 13 - Sunoco, 1855 Woodville Rd., Oregon, 7 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

●July 14 - Kroger, 1094 North Main St., Bowling Green.

●July 18 - BP, 3211 Briarfield Blvd., Monclova Township.

●July 19 - Kroger, 3301 Navarre Ave., Oregon.

●July 20 - BP, 4306 West Sylvania Ave.

●July 21 - Barney's, 1602 Wooster St., Bowling Green.

●July 25 - BP, 10730 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg.

●July 26 - Barney's, 497 West Dussel Drive, Maumee.

●July 27 - Barney's, 1602 Wooster St., Bowling Green, 7 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

●July 28 - Kroger, 4925 Jackman Rd.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.



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