Four drivers stranded after pumping bad gas in Butler County

The Butler County auditor is sounding off about the lack of proper fuel testing again after at least four drivers were stranded due to alleged faulty fuel at a Madison Twp. gas station.

County Auditor Roger Reynolds said the drivers pumped water-tainted fuel into their tanks at the Madison Food Mart Shell station at 2289 Middletown Eaton Road on Wednesday. One of the four, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, didn’t even make it to the road before the postal vehicle broke down at the station.

“How many more vehicles are we going to see damaged because of no action on fuel quality testing in this state,” Reynolds said. “If the (Ohio Department of Agriculture) is not going to do the job, give local county auditors the authority to test and we’ll reduce the number of vehicles damaged.”

Reynolds said it’s been more than 11 years since the state legislature provided the director of agriculture the authority to implement a uniform motor fuel quality testing program in Ohio.

Reynolds said the damage was so bad Wednesday that police made the station stop their pumps. The auditor’s weights and measures inspector responded and noticed water streaming into the ground tank because the proper cap was missing.

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The auditor’s office receives complaints every year about vehicles shutting down or running poorly after purchasing fuel at Butler County gas stations.

“Just a few months ago, we found roughly three feet of water and sediment mixed in with the fuel in a fuel tank at a Sunoco in West Chester,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds has been working on new legislation that would grant county auditors the authority to test motor fuel for octane, water and sediment.

“I’ve spoken to several new state representatives and all have expressed interest in addressing real fuel quality testing. I don’t know how a single state representative can support a proposed gas tax increase without an accompanying measure that provides assurances on fuel quality for Ohio’s gas consumers,” Reynolds said. “I’m hopeful new legislation will be introduced soon.”

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