Dutchess County , NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by Dutchess County 4-14-1986 by L.L. No. 2-1986. Amendments noted where applicable.]
CODE OF LOCAL LAWS REFERENCES
Consumer protection — See Ch. 141.
This chapter prescribes regulations regarding the sale of motor vehicle fuel and the prohibition of water contamination, lead contamination and the proper labelling of motor vehicle fuels for use in motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines. These regulations are based upon a determination by this Legislature that the contamination of a fuel or its improper use will endanger the public health or will impair, to a significant degree, the performance of a motor vehicle emission control device and for the prevention of fraudulent practices which may occur in the sale of motor vehicle fuels and certain other findings.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSIONER
The Dutchess County Commissioner of Behavioral and Community Health.
[Amended 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2011[1]]
DISTRIBUTOR
Any person who transports or stores or causes the transportation or storage of gasoline from any point to any other point.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
GASOLINE
Any fuel sold in Dutchess County for use in motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and commonly or commercially known or sold as "gasoline."
GASOLINE STATION
Any motor fuel dispensing facility, service station, repair shop or other place or premises where gasoline is sold, offered for sale or allowed to be sold to the general public at retail.
LEADED GASOLINE
Gasoline which contains more than 0.05 gram of lead per gallon or more than 0.005 gram of phosphorus per gallon.
MOTOR FUEL
Liquid used as fuel for internal combustion engines. This term shall specifically include, but not be limited to, gasoline and diesel fuel.
OCTANE
The rating of the anti-knock characteristics of a grade or type of automotive gasoline as more fully defined in 15 U.S.C. § 2821 and the applicable federal regulations pursuant thereto.
[Added 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
OPERATOR
The person in charge of a gasoline station. This term shall specifically include, but not be limited to, the owner, lessee, manager, assistant manager or any other person in charge of the operations or activities of a gasoline station.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, unincorporated association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association or other entity or business organization of any kind.
STORAGE TANK
Any reservoir or container used for the holding of motor fuel. This term includes, but is not limited to, above-ground gasoline tanks, underground gasoline tanks, and delivery gasoline tanks or trucks.
UNLEADED GASOLINE
Gasoline containing not more than 0.05 gram of lead per gallon and not more than 0.005 gram of phosphorus per gallon.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
The water, octane, lead and phosphorus content of gasoline will be determined by such tests as may be approved by the Commissioner. Any certificate duly signed by a chemist, analyst or other expert employed by the Commissioner or any analysis, examination or investigation made by such analyst, chemist or expert with respect to any sample of gasoline which the Commissioner has caused to be examined shall be presumptive evidence of the facts therein stated.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
The Commissioner or his/her authorized representative shall have the right to enter any gasoline station or the premises or property of any operator or distributor and shall have the right to make inspections, take samples and conduct tests to determine compliance with this chapter. All distributors and operators shall be required to produce their books to the Commissioner for inspection.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
No distributor shall sell to any distributor or operator any gasoline which is falsely described or labeled. A distributor shall be liable for the transfer of gasoline into the proper storage tank.
A. 
No operator, distributor or his/her employee or agent shall sell, introduce or cause or allow the introduction of leaded gasoline into any motor vehicle which is labelled "UNLEADED GASOLINE ONLY."
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
B. 
No operator, distributor or his/her employee or agent shall sell, expose for sale or offer for sale any gasoline in any manner whatsoever so as to deceive or tend to deceive the purchaser as to the nature, quality and identity of the gasoline so sold or offered for sale.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
C. 
Each operator shall affix to each gasoline pump stand a permanent legible label as follows:
(1) 
For gasoline pump stands containing pumps for the introduction of unleaded gasoline into motor vehicles, the label shall state "UNLEADED GASOLINE."
(2) 
For gasoline pump stands containing pumps for the introduction of super unleaded gasoline or premium unleaded gasoline into motor vehicles, the label shall state "PREMIUM UNLEADED GASOLINE."
(3) 
For gasoline pump stands containing pumps for the introduction of leaded gasoline into motor vehicles, the label shall state "LEADED GASOLINE."
(4) 
For gasoline pump stands containing pumps for the introduction of diesel fuel into motor vehicles, the label shall state "DIESEL FUEL."
(5) 
Each gasoline pump shall clearly identify the octane rating of the gasoline dispensed from said pump.
[Added 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
D. 
Any label required under Subsection C of this section shall be located so as to be readily visible to the operator's employees and customers.
E. 
The operator of a gasoline station shall be required to measure the level of water contained in each gasoline storage tank located at such facility at least once each day on any day during which the facility is open to the public for any portion of such day.
F. 
The operator of a gasoline station shall be required to measure the level of water contained in each gasoline storage tank located at such facility within one hour after delivery of gasoline has been made to any such storage tank; except that if a delivery of gasoline is made during the time in which the gasoline station is not open to the public, then the operator shall measure the level of water contained in each gasoline storage tank into which gasoline was delivered within one hour after the gasoline station facility opens to the public.
G. 
No operator shall sell or offer for sale any gasoline which draws from a storage tank at a gasoline station which contains more than two inches of water.
H. 
No operator shall sell or offer for sale gasoline from a pump which draws from any storage tank during the time in which a delivery of gasoline is being made to or into such tank unless the operator of the gas station shall have measured the level of water contained in any such storage tank immediately before the delivery begins and determined that the storage tank contains no more than two inches of water.
I. 
Every gasoline station in this County shall cause to be posted, in a conspicuous place:
[Added 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
(1) 
The name of the station.
(2) 
The kind of entity it is.
(3) 
The operators of the station as defined in this chapter.
(4) 
The post office address of the station.
A. 
Any distributor who violates this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty and shall pay to Dutchess County the amount of $5,000 for each and every day of the continuance of such violation. Violation shall be presumed to have begun on the last delivery of gasoline to that pump's storage tank.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
B. 
Any operator who violates § 181-6A, B, C or D shall be subject to a civil penalty and shall pay to Dutchess County the amount of $1,000 for each and every day of the continuance of such violation. Violation shall be presumed to have begun on the last delivery of gasoline to that pump's storage tank.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
C. 
Any operator who violates any other sections of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty and shall pay to Dutchess County an amount up to $1,000 for each and every day of the continuance of such violation. Violation shall be presumed to have begun on the last delivery of gasoline to that pump's storage tank.
[Amended 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
D. 
Where there is evidence of intent to defraud, the Commissioner may refer evidence of such violation to the Dutchess County District Attorney or, in the absence of intent to defraud, refer the violation to the Dutchess County Attorney for commencement of a civil action in the name of Dutchess County to recover a civil penalty in the amounts prescribed by this chapter. A cause of action for recovery of such penalty may be released, settled or compromised by the Commissioner before the matter is referred to the Dutchess County Attorney and thereafter by the Dutchess County Attorney.
E. 
All moneys collected shall be deposited in the General Fund of the County of Dutchess.
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, which shall have the authority to condemn any equipment used in dispensing gasoline in violation of this chapter or to order such a condition rectified within 24 hours.
[Amended 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2011[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Any condemnation of equipment shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 16 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
[Added 2-26-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
A. 
Hearings on violations.
(1) 
The Commissioner may cause to be held a formal hearing on any alleged violation of this chapter. A formal hearing shall be on due and adequate notice to the person(s) concerned and shall be set down for a day certain.
(2) 
The Commissioner is empowered to appoint a hearing officer, who shall conduct a formal hearing. The hearing officer may be an impartial employee of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health who has not been involved in any way with the action in question.
[Amended 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2011[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
The notice of hearing shall set forth:
(a) 
The time and place of the hearing;
(b) 
The purpose of the hearing;
(c) 
The charges and violations complained of;
(d) 
The right to present evidence;
(e) 
The right to examine and cross-examine witnesses;
(f) 
The right to be represented by counsel.
(4) 
On the return day of the hearing:
(a) 
The hearing officer shall note the appearance of the persons attending the hearing;
(b) 
Witnesses shall be sworn and testimony shall be recorded;
(c) 
The testimony shall be transcribed within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the hearing.
(5) 
The hearing officer shall thereafter prepare findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations on which the Commissioner shall make a formal order setting forth the determination, conditions, if any, to be complied with, and civil penalties, if any.
(6) 
A copy of the order of the Commissioner following a formal hearing shall be served on all respondents.
(7) 
Nothing herein contained shall preclude the Commissioner from taking any action in addition to the formal hearing herein provided for, as may be prescribed by law, nor shall the Commissioner be precluded from taking such other action by virtue of the order made pursuant to this section.
B. 
Service of an order or notice of hearing shall be made as follows:
(1) 
Enclosing the order or notice in a post-paid envelope directed to the person(s) concerned at the address last known to the Commissioner and depositing such envelope in an official depository maintained by the United States Post Office; or
(2) 
Leaving the order or notice with the person concerned or with a person in charge of the premises; or
(3) 
Posting the order or notice at the entrance door of the premises involved.
C. 
The Commissioner, the designated hearing officer or the Dutchess County Attorney may issue subpoenas on request of any party to the proceedings of any formal hearing set down by the Commissioner.
D. 
Conduct of hearing; evidence; determinations; minutes.
(1) 
The hearing officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence in the conduct of a hearing, but the determination shall be founded on sufficient factual evidence to sustain it.
(2) 
Proof may be adduced with respect to ongoing violations occurring up to and through the date of the hearing, when those violations are sufficiently similar to those charged, to put respondent on notice of the nature of the violation.
(3) 
If a respondent has been served with a Commissioner's order in conjunction with a notice of hearing, proof may be adduced with respect to violations of that order after the underlying violation has been proven.
(4) 
On the conclusion of a hearing, the Commissioner shall take such action as he/she deems proper, and shall execute an order carrying the findings and determinations into effect.
(5) 
The action of the Commissioner may include the assessment of civil penalties as provided by law.
(6) 
The minutes of a formal hearing shall be made available to all parties for examination at the office of the Commissioner.
(7) 
Copies of the minutes of a formal hearing may be purchased at the rate per page covering the cost thereof.