The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has issued a warning regarding potential fuel contamination due to human error at the Port of Tampa. The contamination is believed to have affected fuel stations in Southwest Florida, sparking concerns about engine damage and vehicle operability.
According to the FDACS, fuel purchased after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, from stations supplied by Citgo sourced from the Port of Tampa is at risk of being contaminated with diesel fuel. The agency has advised consumers to exercise caution and take necessary actions if they have purchased fuel during this period.
Although the list of affected stations has not been officially released by Citgo, it’s known that the company supplies fuel to well-known brands like BJs and 7-Eleven, along with several unbranded stations. This has raised concerns among consumers about the potential scope of the contamination.
Experts in the field have highlighted the serious implications of using contaminated gasoline or diesel. Engines are at risk of damage, and in some cases, vehicles might become inoperable. In response to the situation, stations suspected to be impacted have been requested to halt fuel sales until the contaminated fuel can be replaced.
For those who purchased fuel from potentially affected stations after 10 a.m. on August 26, the FDACS recommends reporting the incident. Complaints can be filed via phone at 1-800-HELP-FLA or online through the official FDACS website (www.fdacs.gov).
As of the latest update on Tuesday afternoon, the FDACS has provided information about the status of various gas stations in relation to the contamination incident. Six stations have been identified as not receiving the contaminated fuel, ensuring their fuel remains safe for use. These stations include Dan’s Car Wash in Tarpon Springs, two 7-Eleven locations, Quick & Easy Stop and Palmers Easy Stop in Sarasota, and 2K Express 5 in Tampa.
Furthermore, eight stations have undergone inspections, remediation efforts, and clearance by the FDACS for resuming fuel sales. These stations, including several 7-Eleven locations, Handy Foods Store #87, Faulkenburg CITGO, and more, have been deemed safe for consumers.
However, concerns remain for 17 stations that are currently under a stop sale order while awaiting laboratory confirmation. This step is being taken as a precautionary measure until the extent of contamination can be accurately determined. Notable among these are 7-Eleven, BJ’s Wholesale, and Choice Food & Gas stations in various locations.
The incident has underlined the importance of swift and coordinated responses to prevent further damage and inconvenience to consumers. Authorities are working diligently to resolve the issue and ensure that fuel purchased in the region is safe and reliable. The public is advised to stay informed through official channels and take appropriate steps if they suspect their vehicles have been impacted by the fuel contamination.