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More inspectors to check gas pumps

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:15:50 AM CST   Updated On: Aug 26 2013 02:00:08 PM CDT

Under the new budget, the state will add 19 inspectors to check gas pumps across Wisconsin.

Sandy Chalmers, the consumer protection administrator with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), said all inspectors are also undergoing new training which will consolidate two processes into one.

"Most states in the Midwest especially already have combined these two positions, so it's not a new idea by any means," Chalmers said, "but we looked at what other states are doing to be more efficient and decided this was a great way to go."

News 3 investigated gas pump inspections last October and found 50 pumps in the viewing area failed their inspections in the year and half prior. Some of them were short-changing customers, while others were cheating stations out of money by giving out gas.

Up to this point, inspectors from DATCP checked the accuracy of gas pumps, while a separate state agency looked at petroleum quality.

Chalmers said under the new budget and training, inspectors would take care of both of those checks in one visit.

"There's a fairly high degree of confidence that pumps are dispensing accurately, and by testing that more frequently, consumers will have an even greater degree of confidence that their pumps are accurate," Chalmers said.

The state requires pumps be tested annually in cities where more than 5,000 people live, but it can be tough to get to pumps in rural areas as often. Chalmers said the additional staff and increased efficiency should help the department get to all stations more frequently.

"People just want to know they're getting what they're paid for," Chalmers said.

Chalmers said the inspectors are still undergoing training, but should start with the new process next month.

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