Report: #329360

Complaint Review: Virginia Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services

  • Submitted: Mon, April 28, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, April 28, 2008
  • Reported By: Warrenton Virginia
  • Virginia Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
    102 Governor Street
    Richmond, Virginia

Virginia Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services VA Dept of Agriculture Commissioner not investigating or taking enforcement action on Motor Fuel Violations ( substandard octane, etc) costing consumers billions Richmond Virginia

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The Virginia Department of Agriculture VDACS-has listed 340 motor fuel violations since 2004 yet Commissioner Haymore who is required by VA Code 59.1-166 to enforce the motor fuels law will not dilligently investigate or take enforcement action on them. One example is gasoline advertised as 93 octane when sampled is now being found at 86.9 octane. VDACS can't test the new diesel to the new 15parts per million (ppm) standard even though the dispensers are labeled as such. VDACS is getting complaints about the sulfur not being too high and not 15ppm and hurting new engines but will not take action.

The Major Oil Companies have hundreds of violations but no action gets taken- VDACS will not sample products at the terminals even though 21% of consumer complaints are found to be valid.

In November 2006 Exxon's Fuels Quality Manager met with VDACS Consumer Protection Divison Director Andes Alvarez and Weights and Measures/Motor Fuels Program Supervisor Wes Diggs and apparenly stated they were having octane problems from a Texas refinery and asked for the Agency case file information on their violations (29 violations for them in 2006 alone). The violations continue today in large numbers causing possible low fuel mileage and damage to engines. Neither supervisor from the agency took action- Mr. Alvarez may have provided investigatory case file information to the Exxon offical. A BPAmoco offical in early 2007 admitted problems with excessive ethanol- up to 30 percent in gasoline- still no action except to send the field supervisor trying to investigate these cases home permanently- the ethanol violations never got listed, still don't, and inspectors were given instructions to not go to petroleum terminals.

Consumer Protection Divison Director Andes Alvarez apparently meets or talks regulary to Michael O'Connor President Va Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association- 804 282 7534. Mr. O'Connor hired the Agency Weights and Measures/Motor Fuels Program Supervisor Wes Diggs in November 2007 last year to be a lobbyst consultant for him- Mr. Diggs while at VDACS took little or no action on violations for years until his retirement in August 2007.

VDACS has no policy or procedures for investigating motor fuel violations- they don't even resample or follow up on many violations.

VA Gov Kaine and VDACS Commissioner cut $185,000 from the budget for motor fuel quality inspection program-all of the funds

Virginia Motor Fuel Regulations are completely outdated- especially sulfur- they don't meet federal requirements .

Governor Tim Kaine's former chief of staff Mr. Bill Leighty, Commissioner Haymore, Lt Governor Boling, the Attroney General, Secretary of Agriculture Bloxom, State Senator Ticer ( Chairwoman of Agriculture and Natural Reasources Committee and State Senator Houck, have all been notified- I sent them the emails myself several times-

Gov Kaine keeps telling us how well managed VDACS is yet why won't he compel his Agency to protect the public during these times of excessive fuel prices.

I have tried repeatedly to find out why they(VDACS)won't sample at terminals, have no policies and procedures, why they won't take action to enforce the law when they find violations or complaints which are valid, why they are cutting the budget to do the sampling, why they the specifications don't even comply with federal law, why the Consumer Protection Divison Director and OPIS Program Manager are going to dinner as recently as three weeks ago with the petroleum industry members instead of enforcing the Law?

Please send Freedom Of Information requests for violation and complaint investigation lists and questions to Governor Kaine and Commissioner Haymore. todd.haymore@vdacs.virginia,gov

Warrenton, Virginia
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