Greenleaf's Octane Testing Bill Passes Legislature
Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives concurred in Senate
amendments sending Senator Greenleaf's legislation authorizing random testing of
octane levels in gasoline to the Governor for approval.
Pennsylvania is one of only three states that do not conduct testing of
octane levels. The Department of Agriculture is required to annually inspect gas
pumps for accuracy, but testing for levels of octane is not required.
In January 2007, the Pennsylvania Auditor General recommended that the state
begin testing octane levels following an audit on retail gas pumps across the
Senator Greenleaf said, "Consumers should have some state government
assurance that they are getting what they pay for at the gas pump. With the
economy underperforming and prices of food and gas rising, people need to be
certain they are not getting short changed. There is ample evidence to justify
this legislation. Cars can be damaged due to inaccurate octane levels."
A U.S. Government Accountability Office report of April 1990, found that
random gas pump sampling revealed octane mislabeling in 22 to 53% of pumps
tested. In 1990 the Pennsylvania Association of Weights and Measures performed
a random testing of octane levels throughout the state and found a failure rate
of 17%. More recently, a sweep in New Jersey in 2008 by the State Attorney
General resulted in more than 350 violations, including 26 for inaccurate octane
ratings. New Jersey has a testing program in place to protect consumers. Also,
in December 2011 officials in NJ discovered out of 325 gas stations inspected,
14 were cited for false octane levels.
The 2007 Pennsylvania Auditor General's report found that no pumps had been
checked for octane since 1999. At that time, there had been at least five
reported cases of tainted gasoline in eastern Pennsylvania in the past five
months. According to the report, in 2007 there were two reported incidents of
tainted gas in Montgomery County in April; two in Monroe County, in February and
May; and one in Northampton County in January.
The Pennsylvania AAA Federation supports legislation.