AGRICULTURE CODE - Title 2 - CHAPTER 17. SALE AND REGULATION OF CERTAIN FUEL MIXTURES

Link to law: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/AG/htm/AG.17.HTM
Published: 2015-07-01

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now
AGRICULTURE CODE

TITLE 2. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

CHAPTER 17. SALE AND REGULATION OF CERTAIN FUEL MIXTURES



SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



Sec. 17.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Automotive fuel rating" has the meaning assigned by 15 U.S.C. Section 2821.

(2) "Dealer" means a person who:

(A) is the operator of a service station or other retail outlet; and

(B) delivers motor fuel into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles or motor boats.

(3) "Distributor" has the meaning assigned by Section 162.001, Tax Code.

(4) "Jobber" means a person who purchases tax-paid gasoline for resale or distribution at wholesale.

(5) "Motor fuel" has the meaning assigned by Section 162.001, Tax Code.

(6) "Supplier" has the meaning assigned by Section 162.001, Tax Code.

(7) "Wholesaler" means a person who purchases tax-paid gasoline for resale or distribution at wholesale.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



SUBCHAPTER B. SALE OR DELIVERY OF MOTOR FUEL



Sec. 17.051. NOTICE OF SALE OF ALCOHOL AND FUEL MIXTURE. (a) A dealer may not sell or offer for sale motor fuel from a motor fuel pump supplied by a storage tank into which motor fuel, in a mixture in which at least one percent of the mixture measured by volume is ethanol or methanol, has been delivered within the 60-day period preceding the date of sale or offer of sale unless the dealer prominently displays on the pump from which the mixture is sold a sign that complies with Subsection (b).

(b) A sign required by Subsection (a) must:

(1) be displayed on each face of the motor fuel pump on which the price of the motor fuel mixture sold from the pump is displayed;

(2) state "Contains Ethanol" or "Contains Methanol," as applicable;

(3) appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one-half inch high and one-fourth inch wide; and

(4) be displayed in a clear, conspicuous, and prominent manner, visible to customers using either side of the pump.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(e) This section does not prohibit the posting of any other alcohol or additive information. Other alcohol or additive information and any relevant posting are subject to regulation by the commissioner.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.052. DOCUMENTATION OF MOTOR FUEL MIXTURE SALES. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber of motor fuel may not deliver to an outlet in this state a motor fuel mixture that contains ethanol or methanol exceeding one percent by volume of the mixture unless, at the time of the delivery of the mixture, the person also delivers to the outlet receiving the delivery a manifest, bill of sale, bill of lading, or other document evidencing delivery of the mixture, that includes a statement containing:

(1) the percentage of ethanol or methanol contained in the mixture; and

(2) the types and percentages of any associated cosolvents contained in the mixture.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a delivery made into the fuel supply tanks of a motor vehicle.

(c) The commissioner by rule may prescribe the form of the statement required by Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.053. RECORD OF DELIVERY DOCUMENTS; INSPECTION AUTHORIZED. (a) Each dealer shall keep a copy of each document required to be delivered to the dealer by Section 17.052 until the fourth anniversary of the delivery date.

(b) Each distributor, supplier, wholesaler, and jobber of motor fuel shall keep a copy of each document required to be delivered to the dealer by Section 17.052 until the fourth anniversary of the delivery date.

(c) The commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner may inspect documents described by this section. On written notice presented by the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner to any employee at a dealer's station or retail outlet or mailed to the principal place of business of a dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber, the dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber shall provide the commissioner or authorized representative of the commissioner with the documents described by this section within the period specified in the notice.

(d) The commissioner by rule may:

(1) require each dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, and jobber to maintain and make available to the department:

(A) invoices, receipts, or other transmittal documents or records, including electronically stored information, showing or describing the purchase, sale, delivery, or distribution of motor fuel;

(B) invoices, receipts, work orders, reports, or other documents, including electronically stored information, showing or describing the installation, maintenance, or repair of:

(i) motor fuel dispensing devices; and

(ii) any equipment used in connection with motor fuel dispensing devices to record, display, or produce receipts or audit trails concerning the purchase, sale, delivery, or distribution of motor fuel; and

(C) any record or other document related to the sampling and testing of motor fuel purchased, sold, delivered, or distributed by the dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber; and

(2) prescribe:

(A) the manner of filing documents or records required to be kept under this section or by department rule; and

(B) the time, place, and manner of inspection of the documents or records.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.054. DOCUMENTS RELATING TO POSTING OR CERTIFICATION OF AUTOMOTIVE FUEL RATINGS. (a) Each dealer shall keep for at least one year a copy of:

(1) each delivery ticket or letter of certification on which the dealer based a posting of the automotive fuel rating of motor fuel contained in a motor fuel pump;

(2) each delivery ticket or letter of certification that is required to be delivered to the dealer under 16 C.F.R. Part 306; and

(3) records of any automotive fuel rating determination made by the dealer under 16 C.F.R. Part 306.

(b) Each distributor or supplier shall keep for at least one year at the distributor's or supplier's principal place of business a copy of each delivery ticket or letter of certification required to be delivered by the distributor or supplier to a dealer in this state under 16 C.F.R. Part 306.

(c) The commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner may inspect a document required to be kept under this section. On written notice presented by the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner to any employee at a dealer's station or retail outlet or mailed to the dealer's principal place of business, the dealer shall provide the commissioner or authorized representative of the commissioner with the documents described by this section within the period specified in the notice.

(d) The commissioner by rule may:

(1) require each dealer to maintain and make available to the department:

(A) invoices, receipts, or other transmittal documents or records, including electronically stored information, showing or describing the purchase, sale, delivery, or distribution of motor fuel;

(B) invoices, receipts, work orders, reports, or other documents, including electronically stored information, showing or describing the installation, maintenance, or repair of:

(i) motor fuel dispensing devices; and

(ii) any equipment used in connection with motor fuel dispensing devices to record, display, or produce receipts or audit trails concerning the purchase, sale, delivery, or distribution of motor fuel; and

(C) any record or other document related to the sampling and testing of motor fuel purchased, sold, delivered, or distributed by the dealer; and

(2) prescribe:

(A) the manner of filing documents or records required to be kept under this section or by department rule; and

(B) the time, place, and manner of inspection of the documents or records.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.055. SALE OF MOTOR FUEL WITH INACCURATE AUTOMOTIVE FUEL RATING. (a) A dealer may not sell or offer for sale from a motor fuel pump motor fuel that has an automotive fuel rating lower than the rating for that motor fuel posted on the pump.

(b) A distributor or supplier of motor fuel may not deliver or transfer to a dealer in this state motor fuel that has an automotive fuel rating lower than the certification of the rating the distributor or supplier is required to make to the dealer under federal law.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



SUBCHAPTER B-1. MOTOR FUEL QUALITY AND TESTING



Sec. 17.071. MINIMUM MOTOR FUEL QUALITY AND TESTING STANDARDS. (a) The department by rule shall adopt minimum motor fuel quality and testing standards for motor fuel that is sold or offered for sale in this state. The standards must comply with the nationally recognized minimum standards established by:

(1) the American Society for Testing and Materials, for motor fuels other than motor fuels blended with ethanol; and

(2) the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for motor fuels blended with ethanol.

(b) The department may adopt rules as necessary to bring about uniformity between the standards established under this subchapter and the nationally recognized standards described by Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 24, eff. January 1, 2010.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.072. TESTING OF MOTOR FUEL QUALITY. (a) The department may collect samples and conduct testing at any location where motor fuel is kept, transferred, sold, or offered for sale, to verify that the motor fuel complies with the minimum standards required by Section 17.071.

(b) On arriving at a facility to conduct testing under Subsection (a), a representative of the department shall notify the owner or manager of the facility of the representative's presence and purpose.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person refuses to allow a department representative to collect samples or conduct motor fuel testing under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 24, eff. January 1, 2010.



Sec. 17.073. STOP-SALE ORDER; SHUTDOWN OF DISPENSING DEVICES. (a) If the department has reason to believe that motor fuel is in violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, or that the motor fuel is being sold or offered for sale in a manner that violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department may:

(1) issue and enforce a written order to stop the sale of the motor fuel;

(2) place on a device used to dispense the motor fuel a tag or other mark with the words "Out of Order"; or

(3) stop the sale of the motor fuel and mark a device used to dispense the motor fuel as out of order.

(b) The department shall present an order issued under this section to the dealer, distributor, jobber, supplier, or wholesaler who is in control of the motor fuel at the time the motor fuel or the dealer, distributor, jobber, supplier, or wholesaler of the motor fuel is inspected by the commissioner. The person who receives the order may not sell motor fuel subject to a stop-sale order or use a device on which the department has placed a tag or other mark under Subsection (a)(2) or (3) until the department determines that the motor fuel or device is in compliance with this chapter and department rules.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 24, eff. January 1, 2010.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.



SUBCHAPTER C. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS



Sec. 17.101. COPIES OF DOCUMENTS; DELIVERY TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. (a) The commissioner, an authorized representative of the commissioner, or the attorney general may copy any manifest, bill of sale, bill of lading, delivery ticket, letter of certification, or other document that the commissioner or attorney general is entitled to inspect under this chapter.

(b) The commissioner, an authorized representative of the commissioner, or the attorney general may deliver a copy of a document described by Subsection (a) to the federal government for the purpose of prosecuting a person for a violation of federal law relating to the sale or transfer of motor fuel.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.102. TESTING; RULES RELATING TO TESTING FREQUENCY. To determine compliance with the standards and enforce rules adopted under Sections 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.055, and 17.103, the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner may test any motor fuel sold in this state, regardless of the existence of a complaint about the fuel. This section does not prohibit the commissioner from adopting rules relating to the frequency of testing motor fuels. In adopting the rules, the commissioner shall consider:

(1) the nature of the violation;

(2) the history of past violations; and

(3) available funds under Section 17.104(d).

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.103. AUTHORITY OF COMMISSIONER TO LIMIT APPLICABILITY OF LAW. If the commissioner determines that certain types of motor fuel, such as diesel or liquefied petroleum gas, are not sold in this state as mixtures with alcohol in sufficient quantities to warrant regulation of deliveries of those types of motor fuel under this chapter, the commissioner may limit the application of Sections 17.051 and 17.052 to motor fuels sold in sufficient quantity to warrant regulation.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.104. RULES; FEES. (a) The commissioner may adopt rules consistent with this chapter for the regulation of the sale of motor fuels, including motor fuels that contain ethanol and methanol.

(b) The commissioner by rule may impose a fee for testing, inspection, or the performance of other services provided as determined necessary by the commissioner in the administration of this chapter. A fee imposed under this subsection shall be collected from each dealer, distributor, jobber, supplier, and wholesaler on a periodic basis determined by the commissioner without regard to whether the motor fuel is subject to regulation under this chapter.

(c) The commissioner by rule shall prescribe the form for reporting and remitting the fees imposed under this section.

(d) Fees collected under this section may be used only to administer and enforce this chapter.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



SUBCHAPTER D. ENFORCEMENT



Sec. 17.151. CONTRACT FOR ENFORCEMENT. The commissioner may contract for the enforcement of this chapter after due notice.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.152. CIVIL ACTION. (a) If a dealer or a distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber of motor fuel violates Section 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.054, or 17.055, a motor fuel user who purchased the motor fuel and sustained damages or who has a complaint about the product may bring an action against the dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber.

(b) The action may be brought, without regard to the specific amount of damages, in the district court in any county in which:

(1) the dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber transacts business; or

(2) the dealer resides.

(c) The court shall award to a motor fuel user who prevails in an action under this section:

(1) the amount of actual damages;

(2) equitable relief as determined by the court to be necessary to remedy the effects of the violation, including a declaratory judgment, permanent injunctive relief, and temporary injunctive relief; and

(3) court costs and attorney's fees that are reasonable in relation to the amount of work expended.

(d) In addition to the remedies provided under Subsection (c), on finding that the defendant wilfully or knowingly violated Section 17.051, 17.052, or 17.053, the trier of fact shall award not more than three times the amount of actual damages.

(e) A violation of Section 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.054, or 17.055 also constitutes a deceptive trade practice under Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code.

(f) An action alleging a violation of Section 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.054, or 17.055 must be commenced and prosecuted not later than the second anniversary of the date on which the cause of action accrues.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.153. CIVIL PENALTY. A dealer, distributor, supplier, wholesaler, or jobber who violates Section 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.054, or 17.055 is liable to this state for a civil penalty of not less than $200 and not more than $10,000.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.154. CRIMINAL OFFENSES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly violates Section 17.051, 17.052, 17.053, 17.054, or 17.055 or a rule adopted by the commissioner to enforce or implement those sections.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1) refuses to permit a person authorized by Section 17.102 to test any motor fuel sold or held for sale in this state;

(2) refuses to permit inspection of any document required to be kept or delivered by this chapter on request of a person authorized to inspect the documents under Section 17.053 or 17.054; or

(3) mutilates, destroys, secretes, forges, or falsifies any document, record, report, or sign required to be delivered, kept, filed, or posted by this chapter or any rule adopted by the commissioner to enforce this chapter.

(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) The commissioner or the authorized representative of the commissioner may request the appropriate prosecuting attorney to prosecute a violation of this chapter.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.



Sec. 17.155. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY. (a) The department may impose an administrative penalty against a person regulated under this chapter who violates this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter. An administrative penalty is imposed and collected in the manner provided by Section 12.020.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(g) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(h) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

(i) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 885 (H.B. 2278), Sec. 2.06, eff. April 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 26, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 97 (S.B. 893), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 17.156. TOLL-FREE NUMBER. The department shall provide a toll-free telephone number for use by the public in reporting violations of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 913 (H.B. 2925), Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2009.