In 1997, Oregon adopted the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) national standards for motor fuel. The adoption of these national standards, along with state motor fuel quality laws, established the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Motor Fuel Quality Program.
Program responsibilities include the following:
- Ensuring that the 2.1 billion gallons of motor vehicle gasoline, diesel, and biofuels sold in Oregon each year meet national standards and specifications for quality.
- This is achieved through inspections, field tests and screenings, complaint investigations, document review, and lab tests.
- Enforcing Oregon’s Renewable Fuel Standards of 10% ethanol in gasoline and 5% biodiesel in diesel fuel.
- Investigating complaints regarding motor fuel quality.
ODA routinely performs basic quality control inspections of all motor fuels offered for sale. Before the fuel dispensers are tested at a gas station the fuel is inspected to make sure that it is suitable for sale.
Water is the most common consumer complaint received regarding motor fuel. Motor fuels offered for sale at refueling stations are checked for evidence of water contamination at key points in the underground storage tank system, including:
- Storage tank fill pipe is checked for proper seals
- Fuel inside the tank is tested for contamination
- Product dispensed through the nozzle is inspected to ensure it is free of water
Anti-Knock Index, or octane, is used to price gasoline in the US market. ODA checks all grades of gasoline offered for sale at each gas station to make certain that the posted octane rating correctly represents the gasoline sold. Three basic checks are routinely performed:
- Dispenser blending ratios are verified
- Product certification documents are inspected
- Fuel is tested using portable octane analyzers
ODA places a high priority on fuel quality complaints because it is difficult to substantiate a complaint after one or more fresh fuel deliveries have been made at a gas station.
Motor Fuel Quality regulations for the State of Oregon are found in Oregon Revised Statute 646, Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation.