Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Subtitle .
Chapter 12. Motor Fuels and Lubricating Oils
12/1/2022

Chapter 12. Motor Fuels and Lubricating Oils.

§ 59.1-149. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services or his designated representative.

"Gasoline" shall be construed to include naphtha, benzine and other like liquids and fluids derived from petroleum or other sources and used, or intended to be used, for power purposes, except kerosene.

"Lubricating oil" means lubricating oils used in internal combustion engines.

"Motor fuel" means any liquid or gaseous matter used for the generation of power in an internal combustion engine.

Code 1950, § 59-41; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-150. Motor fuel subject to inspection and testing.

All motor fuel used, intended to be used, sold or offered for sale or distribution in this Commonwealth, shall be subject to inspection and testing for (i) the purpose of preventing adulteration, misbranding, deception or fraud in the sale thereof or (ii) for any other purpose of assuring compliance with any requirement of this chapter or regulation adopted thereunder.

Code 1950, § 59-42; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-151. Statements to be filed by manufacturers, wholesalers and jobbers.

All manufacturers, wholesalers, and jobbers, before selling or offering for sale in this Commonwealth any motor fuel for the purposes above defined, shall file with the Commissioner a statement that they desire to do business in this Commonwealth, and furnish the brand name, trade name, or trademark of the motor fuel which they desire to sell.

Code 1950, § 59-43; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-152. Collection and analysis of samples.

The Commissioner shall have power at all times and at all places to have collected samples for inspection and testing of any motor fuel or lubricating oil for the purposes specified in § 59.1-150 and for the purpose of determining whether such motor fuel or lubricating oil is in violation of this chapter or regulation thereunder.

Code 1950, § 59-44; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-153. Methods of making inspection.

In making any inspection and test of a motor fuel or lubricating oil under this chapter, the Commissioner shall follow the specifications for the inspection and testing of that motor fuel or for the lubricating oil established by ASTM International, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, and incorporated into the ASTM specifications for motor fuels, which are adopted by the National Conference on Weights and Measures and published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Handbook 130, "Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality," as the same now are or may be hereafter amended. For purposes of this section, such specifications shall apply to methods of inspection and testing only, and shall not apply to methods of sale, including automatic temperature compensation. For cause after an informational proceeding under § 2.2-4007.01, such specifications may be amended by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Code 1950, § 59-45; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 2007, cc. 873, 916; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-154. Inspection and testing under supervision of Commissioner.

Inspection and testing of such motor fuel or lubricating oil shall be under the direction of the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 59-46; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-155. Prohibiting sale of defective motor fuel.

The Commissioner may prohibit the sale of motor fuel that does not meet the specifications as provided in this chapter or regulations adopted thereunder.

Code 1950, § 59-47; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-155.1. Engine coolant and antifreeze bittering agent; penalty.

A. Any engine coolant or antifreeze manufactured after January 1, 2011, and sold within the Commonwealth that contains more than 10 percent ethylene glycol shall include not less than 30 parts per million and not more than 50 parts per million denatonium benzoate as a bittering agent in order to render the coolant or antifreeze unpalatable.

B. A manufacturer, processor, distributor, recycler or seller of an engine coolant or antifreeze that is required to contain an aversive agent under subsection A shall not be liable to any person for any personal injury, death, property damage, damage to the environment (including natural resources), or economic loss that results from the inclusion of denatonium benzoate in any engine coolant or antifreeze, provided that the inclusion of denatonium benzoate is present in concentrations mandated by subsection A. The limitation on liability does not apply to a particular liability to the extent that the cause of such liability is unrelated to the inclusion of denatonium benzoate in any engine coolant or antifreeze.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) the sale of a motor vehicle that contains engine coolant or antifreeze, (ii) a wholesale container of engine coolant or antifreeze designed to contain 55 gallons or more of engine coolant or antifreeze, or (iii) engine coolant or antifreeze reformulated through on site recycling.

D. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $100 per violation. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

E. This section shall not apply to engine coolant or antifreeze that is purchased pursuant to military specifications.

2009, c. 681.

§ 59.1-156. Rules and regulations.

A. The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services may make all necessary rules and regulations for (i) the inspection and testing of motor fuel and lubricating oil; (ii) assuring that motor fuels dispensed in this Commonwealth comply with any oxygenation requirement specified by the federal Clean Air Act or any other federal environmental requirement pertaining to motor fuels; and (iii) the enforcement of this chapter.

B. Oxygenated gasoline regulations pursuant to clause (ii) of subsection A may be adopted, amended or repealed without observing the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall, unless a later effective date is specified in the regulation, amendment or repeal, take effect upon adoption by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services and filing with the Registrar of Regulations.

C. No agency of the Commonwealth may enforce the provisions of "Regulations Governing the Oxygenation of Gasoline" (2VAC5-480-10 et seq.), or any successor regulation, requiring the use or sale of oxygenated gasoline, unless, and only to the extent, the regulation is required by federal law or regulation. For purposes of this subsection "oxygenated gasoline" shall have the same meaning as "Gasoline-Oxygenate Blend" as defined in Handbook 130 published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Code 1950, § 59-48; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 1996, cc. 638, 1012; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-157. Complaints to Commissioner.

The Commissioner shall investigate complaints made to him concerning alleged violations of the provisions of this chapter or regulation adopted thereunder, and shall, upon his own initiative, conduct such investigations as he deems appropriate and advisable.

Code 1950, § 59-50; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-158. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-162. Cooperation by state agencies.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Department of Motor Vehicles are authorized to cooperate, as directed by the Governor, with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 59-55; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-162.1. Direct fueling of commercial vehicles authorized; conditions.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the dispensing of diesel fuel from a tank vehicle into the fuel tank of any highway vehicle on the premises of a commercial, industrial, governmental or manufacturing establishment is permitted, provided the following conditions are met:

1. The highway vehicle is used in connection with the business or function of the establishment;

2. The owner or operator of the tank vehicle complies with all requirements pertaining to the collection and payment of taxes on diesel fuel pursuant to Title 58.1 and fees pursuant to Title 62.1;

3. The owner or operator of the tank vehicle complies with all requirements pertaining to Chapter 56 (§ 3.2-5600 et seq.) of Title 3.2;

4. Each delivery shall be metered and recorded and the customer shall be provided an invoice or delivery ticket plainly indicating the quantity of fuel dispensed, the price per gallon, the amount of tax and the total price of the fuel dispensed;

5. The tank vehicle is designed, equipped and operated to prevent spills during fueling operations and to minimize spillage in the event of operator error or equipment malfunction;

6. The owner of the tank vehicle has established and maintains in place a contingency plan for the cleanup of spills occurring during fueling operations, and the operator has been trained in the prevention of spills, and containment of spills should they occur, and in compliance with such spill plan; and

7. The owner is licensed in Virginia as a distributor.

2000, c. 943.

§ 59.1-163. Penalty for violation.

Any person selling any motor fuel or lubricating oil which does not comply with the specifications provided in this chapter, or violating any of the provisions of the chapter, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any dealer in any motor fuel who receives motor fuel meeting the requirements of this chapter and who thereafter adulterates any such motor fuel or mixes it with inferior motor fuel, so that the resulting product does not meet the requirements of this chapter, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 59-56; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885; 2009, c. 650.

§ 59.1-164. Duty of attorney for the Commonwealth.

It shall be the duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth of the respective cities and counties to prosecute all violations of the provisions of this chapter, when certified to him by the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 59-57; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-165. Chemical analysis as evidence.

A certificate of analysis of any motor fuel or lubricating oils shall be admitted into evidence in any case relating to such motor fuel or lubricating oil that involves an alleged violation of this chapter or regulation adopted thereunder, provided that the requirements of subsection A of § 19.2-187.1 have been satisfied and the accused has not objected to the admission of the certificate pursuant to subsection B of § 19.2-187.1.

Code 1950, § 59-58; 1968, c. 439; 1972, c. 741; 1992, c. 885; 2010, c. 152.

§ 59.1-166. Enforcement by Commissioner.

It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 59-59; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-167. Conflicting local laws and ordinances prohibited.

Cities, towns, counties and other political subdivisions of this Commonwealth are prohibited from passing any laws or ordinances relating to the inspection and testing of motor fuel and lubricating oil as defined in § 59.1-149 inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 59-60; 1968, c. 439; 1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-167.1. Labeling of motor fuels; notification to reseller.

A. Every dispensing device used in the retail sale of any motor fuel shall identify the motor fuel and be labeled in accordance with Section 3 of the Uniform Fuels and Automotive Lubricants Regulation published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Handbook 130, titled "Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Fuel Quality," as the same now are or may be hereafter amended, unless the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, by regulation, amends or rejects identification or labeling requirements established in such publication.

B. Every person delivering gasoline at wholesale to a reseller which contains one percent or more of ethanol or methanol shall provide a written manifest or invoice which conspicuously identifies the gasoline containing one percent or more of ethanol or methanol, and the percentage of ethanol or methanol contained therein. The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services may, by regulation, establish what additional disclosure shall be made about a motor fuel by a person delivering the motor fuel at wholesale to a retailer, so that the retailer may comply with the requirements of subsection A.

1986, c. 197; 1992, c. 885; 2019, c. 756.

§ 59.1-167.2. Civil penalties.

A. In addition to the penalties prescribed in § 59.1-163, any person violating any provision of this chapter or regulation adopted thereunder may be assessed a civil penalty by the Board in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the Board shall give due consideration to (i) the history of previous violations of the person; (ii) the seriousness of the violation; and (iii) the demonstrated good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with the chapter or regulation adopted thereunder after notification of the violation.

B. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the Weights and Measures Fund as established by § 3.2-5628. The Commissioner shall prescribe procedures for payment of uncontested penalties. The procedure shall include provisions for a person to consent to abatement of the alleged violation and pay a penalty or negotiated sum in lieu of such penalty without admission of civil liability arising from such alleged violation.

C. Final orders may be recorded, enforced and satisfied as orders or decrees of a circuit court upon certification of such orders by the Commissioner. Such orders may be appealed in accordance with provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1992, c. 885.

§ 59.1-167.3. Delegation of authority.

The Board may delegate any authority vested in it under this chapter, except the adoption of regulations, to the Commissioner.

1992, c. 885.