Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of certain local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Consumer protection — See Ch. 387.
Gasoline sales — See Ch. 494.
Motor fuel facilities — See Ch. 599.
Home energy assistance program — See Ch. 966.
485a Uncod LL Pro
[Adopted 7-7-1981 by L.L. No. 29-1981 (Ch. 306, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]

§ 485-1 Legislative findings; purpose.

A. 
The Legislature finds that all petroleum-based fuel sold to consumers for home heating must be delivered through a metering device, the accuracy of which must be certified annually by the County. Most fuel sold to consumers is delivered through meter-equipped fuel-delivery trucks. There are at present nearly 1,000 such trucks operating in the County. Recently, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of unmarked fuel-delivery trucks operating in the County. This makes it difficult for County inspectors to determine easily whether a particular truck has had its meter properly inspected. Consumers are also placed at a disadvantage when fuel deliveries are made from unmarked trucks because they are often unable to identify the source of a delivery when they have complaints concerning the quality or quantity of the fuel they have received.
B. 
It is, therefore, the purpose of this article to assist consumers in coping with ever-increasing fuel costs by requiring all trucks delivering home heating fuel at retail in Suffolk County to clearly and conspicuously identify the truck's owner or operator. This will assist County inspectors in assuring that each truck's meter has been properly checked and will assist consumers in contacting the business in case they experience any problems.

§ 485-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs.
FUEL
Any liquid petroleum-based product used for residential heating, which shall include, but not be limited to, kerosene, diesel oil and those products commonly referred to as No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 oil.
FUEL-DELIVERY VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle, as such term is or may be defined in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, which is used to deliver, sell or offer for sale fuel, as defined herein, for residential home heating use.
OWNER
A person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vehicle. The term includes a person entitled to the use and possession of a fuel-delivery vehicle subject to a security interest in another person and also includes any lessee or bailee of a fuel-delivery vehicle having the exclusive use thereof, under a lease or otherwise, for a period greater than 30 days.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, unincorporated association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association or other entity or business organization of any kind.

§ 485-3 Display of certain information required.

A. 
Required information. Every fuel-delivery vehicle shall conspicuously display the following information:
(1) 
The name of the owner. If the owner is a corporation, the name displayed shall be the actual corporate name. If the owner is not a corporation, then the name displayed shall be the complete name under which the business is conducted.
(2) 
The street address of the owner, including the street number, community and zip code.
(3) 
The telephone number, including the area code, of the owner.
(4) 
If the owner owns or operates more than one fuel-delivery vehicle, then each such truck owned or operated by him shall display a number assigned by the owner to the vehicle, which shall be a different number for each such vehicle so owned or operated.
B. 
Size. All numbers and letters used to display the information required by Subsection A hereof shall be legible, clearly visible and at least two inches in height and one inch in width.
C. 
Location. The information required by Subsection A hereof shall be displayed upon the driver and the passenger doors of the front or passenger cab or compartment of the fuel-delivery vehicle.
D. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
The requirements of Subsection A(2) and (3) hereof for the display of street address and telephone number shall not apply in any case where the owner's name is displayed in accordance with Subsection A(1) hereof and where the owner's street address and phone number are listed in any current edition of the Suffolk County telephone directory under the owner's name as it is displayed on the fuel-delivery vehicle.
(2) 
The requirements of Subsection C hereof concerning the location of the information required to be displayed by Subsection A hereof shall not apply where the required information is displayed elsewhere on the fuel-delivery vehicle and the Commissioner grants written approval in accordance with § 485-4B hereof.

§ 485-4 Enforcement; rules and regulations.

A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs.
B. 
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs shall have the power to adopt, after due notice and public hearing, rules and regulations for the enforcement and administration of this article, including but not limited to rules and regulations governing the granting of approval for the display of the information required by § 485-3A and B hereof in locations other than those required by § 485-3C hereof.

§ 485-5 Penalties for offenses.

The owner of any vehicle which shall fail to display the information in the size, location or manner required by § 485-3 hereof shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of up to $250. Each separate day such information shall not be displayed shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
[Adopted 10-9-1984 by L.L. No. 26-1984 (Ch. 306, Art. II, of the 1985 Code)]

§ 485-6 Legislative intent.

This Legislature hereby finds that some heating fuel or liquefied petroleum gas delivery vehicle owners are billing customers for more fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas than is actually delivered to the consumer. Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to assist customers in verifying fuel costs by requiring all trucks delivering home heating oil or liquefied petroleum gas at retail in Suffolk County to utilize a comprehensive delivery ticket system identifying the actual sale and delivery of fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas.

§ 485-7 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:
CASH ON DELIVERY (COD)
Payment in full for that particular delivery of fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas by the customer, or his agent, who is present at the time of delivery.
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs.
FUEL-DELIVERY VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle, as such term is or may be defined in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, which is used to deliver, sell or offer for sale fuel or liquefied petroleum gas, as defined herein, for residential, commercial or industrial use.
[Amended 2-26-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985]
FUEL OIL
Any liquid petroleum-based product used for heating purposes, which shall include, but not be limited to, kerosene, diesel oil and those products commonly referred to as No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 oil.
LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS
Any material or substance which is predominantly composed of any of the following hydrocarbons or mixtures of the same: propane; propylene; butane, normal or iso- ; and butylene.
METER
A device designed for the measurement and delivery of fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas.
OWNER
A person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vehicle. The term includes a person entitled to the use and possession of a fuel-delivery vehicle subject to a security interest in another person, and also includes any lessee or bailee of a fuel-delivery vehicle having the exclusive use thereof, under a lease or otherwise, for a period greater than 30 days.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, unincorporated association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association or other entity or business organization of any kind.

§ 485-8 Requirements and restrictions.

A. 
All deliveries of fuel oil for heating or cooking purposes and all deliveries of liquefied petroleum gas sold by liquid measure shall be measured by a meter. The quantity determination of the fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas delivered shall be printed on a delivery ticket by a ticket-printing mechanism connected to the meter.
[Amended 2-26-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985]
(1) 
The delivery ticket shall also contain the following information:
(a) 
Date of delivery.
(b) 
The name and address of the owner and the buyer.
(c) 
Price per unit measure of the fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas delivered.
(d) 
Grade or product identification of the fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas delivered.
(e) 
Vehicle number of the fuel-delivery vehicle used to make the delivery if the owner owns, operates or uses more than one vehicle for the sale or delivery of fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas.
(f) 
Total price of the delivery; provided, however, that the total price need not be set forth if, within five days after delivery, the owner provides the buyer with a written statement setting forth all of the information required in Subsection A(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d) above, including the total price.
(g) 
Driver's name or identification number.
(h) 
A sequential sales number printed on the delivery ticket by the ticket-printing mechanism connected to the meter.
(2) 
One copy of the delivery ticket shall be left at the time and place of delivery. Another copy of the delivery ticket must be retained by the owner for a period of one year and shall be available for inspection by the Commissioner or his authorized agents during the normal course of business hours. All original delivery tickets and copies that are voided shall be kept on file for the period of one year.
B. 
The fuel-delivery vehicle number, as described in Subsection A(1)(e) of this section, for fuel oil shall be the same vehicle number as is marked on the delivery vehicle in accordance with § 485-3A(4) of Article I of this chapter. The fuel-delivery vehicle, as described in Subsection A(1)(e) of this section, for liquefied petroleum gas shall be a number assigned by the owner to the vehicle, which shall be a different number for each such vehicle.
C. 
The driver's identification number, as described in Subsection A(1)(g) of this section, shall be a number assigned by the owner of the fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas. A list of drivers' numbers shall be maintained by the owner, and such list shall be available to the Commissioner or his authorized agents during the course of normal business hours.
D. 
If a meter is sealed prior to the effective date of this article and its design prohibits compliance with this article, then the owner is exempt from the requirements of this article as long as the meter continues to be owned and operated by the same owner as of the effective date of this article, but in no event longer than one year from the effective date of this article.
E. 
If a delivery of fuel oil or liquefied petroleum gas is conducted on a COD or cash-on-delivery basis, then the driver of the fuel-delivery vehicle shall be required to obtain the signature of the purchaser or the purchaser's agent on the delivery ticket prior to the ticket's insertion into the ticket-printing mechanism.
F. 
Only one delivery ticket at a time may be inserted into the ticket-printing mechanism, and said ticket shall not be inserted until immediately before a delivery has begun. The possession of a preprinted ticket imprinted with a gallonage amount in advance of a delivery shall be prima facie evidence of intent to use such ticket in violation of this section.

§ 485-9 Prohibitions.

The presence of any ticket-printing mechanism on board a fuel-delivery vehicle, other than the ticket-printing mechanism attached to and being driven by the meter of said fuel-delivery vehicle, shall be prohibited.

§ 485-10 Powers of Commissioner.

A. 
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs, or an authorized agent, is hereby authorized to enter and go into or upon, without warrant, any fuel-delivery vehicle, while such vehicle is on a public street, highway or thoroughfare, to inspect or examine the metering system, ticket-printing mechanism, vehicle tank compartments and delivery tickets then in the actual possession or under the control of the person operating that fuel-oil-delivery vehicle. Any such delivery tickets suspected of constituting a deceptive or fraudulent practice or of violating any section of this article may be seized by the Commissioner or his authorized agents.
[Amended 2-26-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985]
B. 
The Commissioner is hereby authorized to adopt such rules and regulations as he shall deem necessary and sufficient to carry out the purposes of this article.

§ 485-11 Enforcing official.

This article shall be enforced by the Suffolk County Department of Consumer Affairs.

§ 485-12 Penalties for offenses.

Failure to comply with any provision of this article shall constitute a violation punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 15 days in jail, or both, for a first offense; and a fine of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail, or both, for a second or subsequent offense.