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How can we be certain that the gas advertised as ‘ethanol-free’ in Wilmington is as it claims?

Joseph Batts takes advantage of the $3.55 cents a gallon gas at the Sunoco station at Dawson Street and S.17th Street. Photo by Mike Spencer.

Q. How can we be certain that the gas advertised as ‘ethanol-free’ in Wilmington is as it claims? It seems to be more readily available than some years ago.

A. As of June 1, all gas stations in the state are required to label all pumps distributing ethanol-blended gasoline, according to Brian Long, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture.

“Our standards division will be the group that will be looking to make sure these labels are being put in place,” he said. “The standards divisions routinely inspects gas stations around the state. We look for things like accuracy at the pump, we also test fuel to make sure it’s the right octane. If a station is advertising their gasoline as ethanol-free, then when our inspectors inspect that station they will make sure they’re telling the truth.”

Going forward, this should means that all pumps without stickers will dispense ethanol-free gasoline, though it may take some time for stations to come into compliance with the new law. Long said that larger stations will most likely place the stickers first.

“I would caution people that if they don’t see these stickers right away, they can call us and ask about it,” he said. “Some gas stations that are owned by larger companies, they’re going to roll those stickers out probably more quickly than some smaller operations would, just because they have more resources. We’re going to give them a little bit of time to get those stickers on there.”

Currently, there’s no way to track inspections data online, but if you have a question about a specific gas station, you can call the standards division at 919-733-3313.

RELATED LINKS:

Why are gas prices different in different parts of the area? Is it price gouging?

Why is North Carolina’s gasoline tax so much higher than surrounding states?

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