WEST WINDSOR, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced a countywide gas station testing program through the Mercer County Office of Weights and Measures, a hotline for area residents to call to report stations suspected of price gouging, and a special testing schedule for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer travel season.
“Unfortunately, factors beyond the control of our citizens has driven the price of a tank of gas out of reach for the wallet of the average Mercer County resident,” said Hughes. “By announcing these inspection measures, we are proactively working to make sure that gas stations do not gouge prices and worsen the burden that we all have to bear.”
The Mercer County Office of Weights and Measures will inspect area gas stations randomly throughout the county to ensure that all gas meters are registered by the State of New Jersey; ensure that all meters are sealed, inspected and certified by the respective municipal weights and measures office; ensure that pricing is consistent between advertised prices and actual cost of gas; ensure that meters are not covered to consumers and that hoses do not leak; conduct volumetric testing to prevent excess water in storage tanks; conduct octane testing to ensure octane ratings are accurate; ensure that all meters read accurately, start at zero and finish charging when gas stops pumping. No other weights and measures office in Mercer County has the equipment to conduct volumetric and octane analysis, and neither test is required by the State of New Jersey.
Hughes also announced a hotline for residents to call to report suspected violations at county gas stations, that all gas stations within the statutory jurisdiction of the Mercer County Weights and Measures Office will be inspected between now and Memorial Day, and that county inspectors will be conducting random tests over Memorial Day weekend to ensure that merchants do not raise prices more than once in a 24-hour period, in addition to all other testing. Any station caught in violation of these measures will be fined by Mercer County and ordered to stop selling gasoline until corrective action has been completed.
“I will continue to do all that I can to improve the quality of life for county residents,” continued Hughes. “Random and thorough testing measures will protect our consumers and keep the impact of skyrocketing gas prices to a minimum.”Residents are asked to call 609-989-6579 to report suspected violations.