Tainted fuel raises concern about lack of quality test

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Thousands of dollars of damage occurred at a Middletown gas station when multiple drivers unknowingly pumped bad fuel in their tanks.

At least four drivers were left stranded after pumping tainted fuel into their tanks at the Madison Food Mart Shell station on Middletown Eaton Road on Wednesday.

Butler County auditor Roger Reynolds said one of the four was a U.S. Postal Service driver who didn’t make it out of the gas station before the vehicle broke down.

2 NEWS reached out to Montgomery County auditor Karl Keith who said Ohio joins Nebraska and Alaska as the only states without a fuel quality test.

This shocked many Montgomery County drivers like Alexis Tompkins who said, “I think that’s really surprising they’re not checking the quality. I would be personally really disappointed if that happened to me, to find out that I’m pumping something that i thought was going to help me.”

Keith has worked with the county auditor office since 1991, and said it is an old issue.

Over 11 years ago, budget cuts led to the state legislature giving the director of agriculture the responsibility of testing the fuel, but not the funding.

“For the counties, it would be an easier thing to do, we already have inspectors that are in the field that check these stations every year checking them for quantity,” said Keith. “We’ve always believed that with the right training, these inspectors can be doing quality tests at the same time.”

The concerns typically are octane levels, water or sediment in the pump, but other problems have been seen in Montgomery County.

“We’ve had issues of kerosene being in the pumps or diesel fuel being mixed in the pumps, not recently, but there are issues like that that come up,” said Keith.

Keith said there is availability on the Montgomery County auditor website for residents to input if they believe bad gas is being sold at a station.

The auditor’s office then takes that information to the stations in hopes they cooperate and test their own pumps.

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