A human error at the Port of Tampa has resulted in a potentially widespread fuel contamination issue that could impact drivers in the greater Tampa Bay region and Southwest Florida. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has identified that some gasoline and diesel sold by Citgo from the Port of Tampa was contaminated with diesel fuel.
Contaminated fuel could damage engines or make them inoperable
According to FDACS, any fuel purchased after 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, at stations supplied by Citgo from the Port of Tampa, has a strong likelihood of being contaminated with diesel fuel. This could cause engine damage or affect operability of vehicles or generators. FDACS advises consumers who bought gas from affected stations after 10 a.m. on Saturday to stop using it and contact the station or Citgo for assistance.
FDACS has opened up the consumer hotline to receive complaints from impacted consumers. If you believe you were sold contaminated gasoline, you can file a complaint by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA online at www.fdacs.gov.
Citgo will not release the list of gas stations that received contaminated fuel
FDACS said that Citgo will not release the list of gas stations that received contaminated fuel, citing proprietary reasons. However, FDACS said that Citgo sells gas to BJs, 7-Eleven, and also some unbranded stations. FDACS is aware that the Port of Tampa serves gas stations in the greater Tampa region north to Chiefland, and on the west side of Florida south to Naples.
FDACS said it will send a more accurate list of affected stations as it becomes available. In the meantime, it has released a preliminary list of 23 stations that may have received contaminated fuel. The list includes stations in Tarpon Springs, Holiday, Lithia, Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Cape Coral, Brooksville, Plant City, Zephyrhills, Dunellon, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Umatilla and Tampa. You can find the full list here.
Impacted stations have been asked to stop selling gas until the issue is resolved
FDACS said it has contacted all the potentially impacted stations and asked them to stop selling gas until the contaminated fuel is replaced and tanks are cleaned. Once the stations are cleared or have completed a corrective action plan, fuel will once again be safe for purchase.
FDACS said it is coordinating with the Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to ensure that there is no disruption to the fuel supply chain in the state, especially as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches Florida. FDEM director Kevin Guthrie said everything was being done to try to curtail any effects from the contamination.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the contamination was caused by human error at the Port of Tampa. “Basically it was just human error they just they they put diesel in tanks that were supposed to be regular gas,” he said at a press briefing on Sunday. “Hopefully we don’t have that many people that are affected by this obviously if you have a tank of gas and it’s it’s 90% Regular and 10% Diesel the dilution is probably may not ruin your car but I mean if you put a whole tank of diesel and that’s going to be a major major problem.”