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Settlement Is Reached With 85-Octane Wholesalers



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Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Monday that an agreement with Harms Oil and M.G. Oil has been reached in regards to the investigation into the labeling of 85-octane gas.

Jackley said both Harms Oil and M.G. Oil fully cooperated throughout the investigation. While the investigation revealed that 85-octane had been distributed and sold contrary to administrative rule, it did not reveal any unusual profits or unusual profit margins during the relevant time period.
 
Harms Oil and M.G. Oil each agreed to pay $25,000 to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety to recover the cost of purchasing a Zeltex portable octane tester and the cost associated with the first year of use. Harms Oil and M.G. Oil also each agreed to pay $3,500 to produce educational materials to be distributed to retail businesses.

Harms Oil has also agreed to pay money to the Office of the Attorney General $21,500, which the Attorney General intends to turnover to the State’s general fund. 

As part of the Settlement, Harms Oil and M.G. Oil have agreed to obey all state and federal laws and administrative rules regarding the labeling of gas at the retail level, including but not limited to the accurate labeling of the octane rating and presence and percentage of ethanol.

In addition, Harms Oil and M.G. Oil will provide quarterly statements verifying compliance with all terms of the consent judgment for two years. These compliance reports will confirm that these businesses have not delivered any 85-octane gas to retail locations to any area of South Dakota where the sale of 85-octane gas is not authorized or legal.

Harms Oil and M.G. Oil will also collaborate with the State to prepare a brochure detailing the fuel pump labeling requirements that will be in effect.


Harms Oil also released a statement today saying, “The governmental investigation into the alleged mislabeling of gasoline in South Dakota has come to an end for Harms Oil.”

“We cooperated fully with the investigation. The Attorney General’s Office found no evidence Harms Oil received unusual profit from the sale of mislabeled gasoline.”

“Harms Oil has always done its best to work with state regulators. We will continue to do the same in the future, We’re eager to move forward – helping the industry understand the new fuel pump labeling requirements and supporting compliance tests of octane levels. We’re glad this has come to an end.  Our focus has been, and will continue to be, delivering the fuel our customers need, at the best price available.”
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