Conn. Consumer Protection Dept. Looks into Bad Gas Reports

Investigation shows tainted fuel from terminal now out of system

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has been investigating reports from consumers experiencing problems with their vehicles after purchasing gasoline. On Friday, it said, "We believe that all the tainted gasoline has worked its way through the retail system at this point."

Media reports on Tuesday about gasoline sold in Montville and on Wednesday about gasoline purchased in the New Haven area brought the issue to the Department's attention, consumer protection commissioner William M. Rubenstein said.

Thus far, seven gas stations have [image-nocss] been identified by consumers who reported that they purchased gasoline that was contaminated, causing engine trouble to their vehicles. The confirmed stations are: Fairfield Mobil, Fairfield. Milford Mobil, Milford. Long Warf Mobil, New Haven. Branford Mobil Rest Area. 7-Eleven, Montville. Guilford Mobil No. 90, Guilford. Stop & Shop No. 663, Milford.

"We responded to the Montville reports immediately after learning about problems that consumers were allegedly experiencing," Rubenstein said. "[Wednesday], some of those consumers began to file complaints with our department, and I encourage everyone who believes their vehicle may have been affected this week by bad gasoline to contact our department, to file a complaint and to provide us with the name and address of the gas station. Our immediate priorities are to identify and stop the source of any problem and to assure that consumers are compensated for any problems caused by the bad gasoline."

The department has been investigating allegations related to a range of gas stations along the Interstate 95 corridor from Guilford to Fairfield. Other areas of the state may be affected as well, it said.

Investigators have been reviewing stations' delivery invoices, taking samples and conducting field interviews to identify the contaminant and track its source.

Any additional stations named by consumers will be contacted by the department to confirm whether they were indeed included in the recent deliveries of bad gasoline.

"Based upon our investigation to date, we believe that the source of the contaminated gasoline was a single large fuel storage tank, Tank 31M, at a terminal located in New Haven. The department has red-tagged the tank and removed it from service; no fuel is being pumped from that tank at this time. The department is working with the tank owner, Magellan Midstream LP, to determine the source of the contamination," it said.

As of 12:00 P.M. Thursday, more than a hundred consumers made complaints to the Department of Consumer Protection.

"This is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released at the conclusion of the investigation," it added.