The number of gas stations in Missouri has been declining in recent years. There are many barriers that may prevent the establishment of gas stations, including regulations and costs associated with implementing new equipment, particularly in rural areas with low traffic volume and population density. Notably, updates to state regulations for the storage of fuel do not apply to the use of pre-existing equipment provided they do not pose a “distinct hazard to life or property.” Given the slim profit margins on fuel sales and costs associated with an evolving economy, gas stations may rely on providing multiple services beyond fuel to remain profitable. In some rural counties, gas stations can provide residents with basic life necessities (e.g., food) and become a hub for local communities to provide essential services.
This Note has been updated. You can access the previous version (published October 2021) here.