State conducting gasoline testing following BP recall

2012-08-21T20:00:00Z 2012-08-29T19:20:04Z State conducting gasoline testing following BP recallBy Bowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

A spokeswoman from the Indiana State Department of Health said the agency is aware of the fuel quality issues in Northwest Indiana and has inspectors conducting sampling and octane testing in three counties.

Amy Reel said testing is being done in Lake, Porter and Starke counties.

BP spokesman Scott Dean said Northwest Indiana is the "epicenter" of a recall of 2.1 million gallons of unleaded regular gasoline, although the sales of fuel not meeting specifications stretches into Illinois and Wisconsin. The gasoline was blended at BP's Whiting fuel storage terminal between Aug. 13 and Friday and contained a higher than normal level of polymeric residue, which the company said could be responsible for vehicles not running properly.

However, BP said the fuel currently being distributed from its Whiting terminal is suitable for use.

Dean told The Associated Press on Tuesday it had heard from 5,000 customers whose cars have required repairs.

People reaching The Times said that they've had vehicle problems within the last week after buying regular grade gasoline at retailers including BP, Costco, Family Express, Gas City, Luke, Meijer, Mr. Fuel and Thorntons.

"Our response to any gasoline that does not meet quality standards is to issue an emergency stop sale order," Reel said in a statement. "At this time, we have not issued any emergency stop sale orders as a result of recent events. However, BP is conducting a recall of all regular unleaded gas in the area and gas stations appear to be cooperating."

Dean said a small quantity of premium and mid-grade fuel was trucked to the Milwaukee area and sold between Monday night and Tuesday morning. He said sales since have been stopped. Contrary to anecdotal information the company received, Dean said it is unlikely the gas was sold in Michigan near the Indiana border because it is not an area required to use the more expensive, reformulated gasoline, as are Lake and Porter counties.

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