U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Coordination and Review Section P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C.

20035-6118 JUN 15 1992 Captain (b)(6) XX Naples, Florida 33942 Dear Captain XX This responds to your request for an interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as applied to retail gasoline sales. The ADA authorizes the Department to provide technical assistance to entities that are subject to the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding how the ADA addresses your concerns. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA and does not constitute a binding determination by the Department of Justice. Title III of the ADA requires places of public accommodation to remove architectural barriers in existing facilities to the extent that removal is readily achievable. Where barrier removal is not readily achievable, the public accommodation is required to make its goods and services available through other methods, if those methods are readily achievable. If it would not be readily achievable for a self-service gas station to redesign its gas pumps to enable people with disabilities to use them, the station would be required to provide refueling services upon request to an individual with a disability if that is readily achievable. A public accommodation may not impose a surcharge on an individual with a disability for the costs associated with the alternative method, so the station would be required to provide the refueling service for individuals with disabilities at the self-service price. The preamble to S 36.305 recognizes, however, that there may be security considerations that would legitimately prevent a cashier from leaving the cash register. The preamble makes clear that the ADA would not require a cashier who is the only employee on duty to leave a cash register to assist a motorist with a disability.

01-00921 -2To respond to several specific questions you asked: title III of the ADA was effective January 26, 1992, and no enforcement actions have yet been brought, although numerous complaints are under investigation. The Department of Justice has no statistics concerning gas stations on interstate highways. Such information may be available from the Department of Transportation. As provided in section 36.501 of the Department's regulation implementing title III, you have a right to file a private suit for preventive relief for a violation of the Act that occurs after the effective date. Section 36.505 of the regulation provides that, if you are successful in your suit, the defendant may be required to pay your attorney's fees. You may also request an investigation by the Department of Justice, which can initiate litigation in cases of general public importance or where a pattern or practice of discrimination is found. Complaints may be directed to: Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-9998 We are enclosing a copy of the title III regulation and the technical assistance manual for that title. We hope that this information is helpful. Sincerely, Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) 01-00922