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Montague wants gov't to apologise to gas station owners

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM

In a media release on Thursday, Shadow Minister of Mining and Energy, Senator Robert Montague, called on the Government to apologise to the owners of the 17 gas stations that were ordered closed by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) recently, having been accused of supplying bad gas.

"The gas stations were ordered closed on the instruction of the Government and/or its agents. The stations were closed because tests by the BSJ found that they had fuel stored that had unwashed gum levels above 5mg or 100ml. The BSJ and the minister were using the provisions contained in the Petroleum Quality Control Regulations of 1990," the release stated.

" However, the amended regulations of November, 2011, have no such upper limit for unwashed gum. These regulations were gazzetted. Since there is no legal upper limit for unwashed gum, the Government had no basis on which to close the stations. The Government clearly erred. This error has caused loss of income and unlimited reputational damage to the gas station operators. The Government has no other choice but to fully absorb the full responsibility for this simple, but unfortunate mistake.

" In the meantime, the Government has also failed the motoring public by not verifying that all fuel sold into market met the stated quality that is set out in our laws. Motorists have suffered great loss, damage and inconvenience as a result of purchasing bad gas. The Government failed the public, failed to enforce the said laws passed by the Government that would protect the consumer."