Florida officials warned consumers of contaminated gasoline from the Port of Tampa and supplied by CITGO, after human error caused the fuel to become contaminated with diesel. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) made the announcement on social media on Sunday, saying the contamination was caused by a product routing issue at the terminal.
The FDACS said that any fuel purchased after 10 a.m. on Saturday at stations supplied by CITGO from the Port of Tampa has a strong likelihood of being tainted with diesel fuel. Contaminated gasoline and diesel have the potential of causing engine damage or affecting operability, the agency said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis noted the announcement during a press conference regarding Tropical Storm Idalia, which is barreling toward the U.S. southern coast and could make landfall in Florida. DeSantis said an investigation into the fuel contamination and how widespread it is, is underway. The governor also said the contamination was “just human error,” and the workers put diesel in tanks that were supposed to be for regular gasoline.
“Obviously if you have a tank of gas, and it’s 90% regular and 10% diesel, the dilution…probably may not ruin your car, but I mean if you put a whole tank of diesel in, that’s going to be a major, major problem,” DeSantis said.
CITGO acknowledges the problem and notifies affected stations
A spokesperson for CITGO told Fox News Digital that on Saturday, the company discovered contaminated product at its Tampa, Florida terminal because of a product routing issue at the terminal, and immediately shut down the rack.
“All CITGO Marketers who lifted gasoline and diesel from the terminal between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. have been notified and asked to stop sales,” a statement from the company read.
The FDACS said that under state and federal law, it must rely upon CITGO to provide the list of impacted gas stations. Consumers should be aware that the company may update this list. FDACS will also update this list as necessary as of result of increased fuel testing in the impacted areas.
The agency provided a list of 24 stations that were affected by the contamination, including 7-Eleven, BJ’s Wholesale, Handy Foods Store, Superday CITGO, Perfection Station, Choice Food & Gas, and others. The stations are located in Sarasota, Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Cape Coral, Plant City, Zephyrhills, Lady Lakes, Hudson, Brooksville, Big Dan’s Car Wash, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, Lithia, Dunellon, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Umatilla.
Consumers can file complaints and seek compensation
The FDACS said if anyone believes they were sold contaminated gas, they can file a complaint by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA or by visiting fdacs.gov. The agency also advised consumers to keep their receipts and contact their insurance company if they experience any vehicle issues related to the fuel contamination.
CITGO said it is working to correct the issue while conducting a full investigation. The company also said it is committed to providing quality products and services to its customers.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers,” the statement read.
The fuel contamination comes at a time when gas prices are already high ahead of Labor Day weekend. According to AAA, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.15 per gallon on Sunday, up from $2.22 a year ago.