To prevent these abuses, the National Conference on Weights and Measures establishes standards for dispensing equipment, ensuring that all dispensers provide accurate information on fuel sales. State-level Weights and Measures departments enforce these standards. If you own or sell dispensing equipment, make sure you understand and comply with your state's regulations.
In New Mexico, weights and measures regulations fall under the authority of the Department of Agriculture. The Department inspects all fuel dispensing equipment and punishes violators. It determines punishment based on the gravity of the violation (i.e. did the violation result in monetary loss, personal injury, or property damage?), its frequency, and whether the violation was a result of ignorance, negligence, or willful criminal activity. Penalties range from warnings to fines of up to $1,000 per violation.
The Oklahoma Department of Food, Forestry, and Agriculture oversees weights and measures regulations. The Department requires retailers to submit plans for every fuel dispenser they install; it approves plans only if they meet all weights and measures and safety specifications. The Department also sends out inspectors to evaluate reports of fuel dispensing fraud. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission determines punishments for those who violate weights and measures laws, which usually take the form of heavy fines. The Commission can charge violators as much as $10,000 per violation.
The Texas Department of Agriculture enforces weights and measures regulations on fuel dispensers. It determines punishments for dispensing violations based on the specific method that retailers use to defraud their customers. For devices that start with a charge greater than zero, the department fines retails between $100 and $250 per device, depending on the amount of money stolen. Each device that doesn't provide a visible readout incurs a fine of $100. For devices that charge customers for dispensing more fuel than they have actually received, fines can range from $250 to $1,000 each. Retailers who refuse to cooperate with inspectors can be fined $1,000 for every day they delay the tests.
Planning to dispense fuel in Texas, Oklahoma, or New Mexico? Innovative Fueling Solutions provides a wide range of safe, affordable, legal fuel dispensing and maintenance equipment. For more information, explore our website or call us today.