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Bill Would Let Ohio Counties Test Gas Quality

gas pump
David Zalubowski
Associated Press

Ohio is one of only three states in the nation that doesn’t test the quality of gas that drivers purchase at the pumps. There’s a bill in the Ohio Legislature that would change that.

Every year, county auditors check pumps to make sure drivers are getting the correct quantity of gas, but they don’t test the quality of the gas. Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds says consumers often don’t get what they are paying for.

“They’re filling up. They think they are getting a gallon of gasoline and that it is a quality gallon of gasoline and in reality, what they’re finding is it’s bad gas," Reynolds says.

The bill enjoys bipartisan support.

“This bill is about consumer protection — when people go to fill up their gas tanks, they need to know that they are getting what they paid for,” says state Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati), one of the sponsors of the legislation.

This bill doesn’t mandate that the county auditors test fuel, but those who want to do it would have the authority. Backers say it won’t cost taxpayers anything and that counties that choose to do this can easily purchase inexpensive testing equipment.

This legislation would allow county auditors and the Department of Agriculture to test for octane levels, sediment and water levels in fuel.

Ohio is one of three states including Alaska and Nebraska that do not currently test for fuel quality. Two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, are currently testing the quality of gasoline based on local governance.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.