Madison
76° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Walker budget includes more inspectors to check pump accuracy

Published On: Feb 26 2013 07:57:58 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 26 2013 07:58:36 AM CST
Gas pump testing regulation
MADISON, Wis. -

More than double the number of inspectors would check gas pumps to make sure customers get what they've paid for under Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals.

Administrators at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection asked Walker last fall to combine two pump inspection programs they called "inefficient."

Right now, 15 inspectors check that pumps dispense the proper amount of gas, and are required to take a yearly look at pumps in cities with more than 5,000 people.

But with thousands of pumps to check, those in rural areas don't get inspected as often, a WISC-TV investigation found last October. About 50 stations were found shorting consumers in 2011, state data indicate.

"I can't say why (the request) wasn't done before," said Sandy Chalmers, a Trade and Consumer Protection administrator. "It is the way most states operate. We looked at other Midwestern states, and most states combine their petroleum quality and gas pump accuracy inspections."

Under the proposal, a separate group that checks the quality of the fuel would be rolled into DATCP's inspection program.

Inspectors from both programs currently check many of the same gas stations every year, which administrators said is an inefficient practice.

Walker's budget calls for training all 37 workers on both types of inspections. They would also look at price scanners and grocery store scales, which DATCP currently checks.

"The net result would be, we'll be able to do more inspections across the board," Chalmers said.

Besides the potential benefit to consumers, Chalmers said the proposal would save the state money.

It will cost $915,000 to train the workers and buy new equipment up-front. But eliminating one program would save $460,000 a year, she said.

Advertisement
  • Safest Cities - Honolulu

    Marco Garcia/Getty Images

    4. Honolulu, Hawaii

    US cities where residents feel safest

    Gallup-Healthways has ranked the safest U.S. cities.  How a city ranked on the list correlated to how it measured in perceived safety, financial security and sense of community. Click through for the top 20.

  • Takata

    CNN

    12 biggest auto recalls

    Over 2 million more vehicles were added to official lists of models being recalled because of potentially dangerous airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata. The recall now totals about 36 million vehicles worldwide. Take a look at the biggest auto recalls in history.

  • Fidel sign Cuba

    Getty Images

    Looking back: U.S.-Cuba relations

    The United States officially removed Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism on Friday . Get up to speed on the last five decades of American foreign policy toward Cuba.

Advertisement