Fewer Strings Attached

A new law lets little guys sue to end excess paperwork

It drives gas station owners up the wall. Every year since 1986, they've had to file a report with the local fire department listing any flammable substances on their premises, as decreed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA rationale: Firefighters should know of any hazards present in the event of a fire. But do they really need to be told there's gasoline in gas stations? "It's always shocking to fire departments," scoffs William L. Ferren, president of B-B-F Oil Co. in Pine Bluff, Ark., which operates 24 stations across the state. Ferren says he spends almost $50,000 a year filling out such needless paperwork.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.