Agriculture Department Using Certified Examiner of Weights and Measures Program to Extend Oversight
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Certified industry inspectors will play an important role as the state Agriculture Department absorbs the responsibility of inspecting Lancaster County's 5,500 fuel pumps and small scales—the result of the county eliminating its weights and measures inspection services, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today.
The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2011.
"Pennsylvanians rely on careful inspections of weighing and measuring devices to ensure they get what they pay for," said Redding. "Since almost all of the products we buy are sold according to weight, volume, length, count or measure, inspecting scales and meters to ensure their accuracy can save millions of dollars for consumers and businesses.
"Our Certified Examiner of Weights and Measures program is allowing the department to protect consumers from inaccurate devices on a broader scale and more effectively. By providing careful oversight, the department will assure that the law is being upheld and that certified examiners are protecting the consumers they represent."
The CEWM program allows the department to train and certify eligible industry members to perform inspections of weighing and measuring devices under the state's jurisdiction on its behalf. Participation in the program by any of the 1,200 businesses inspected by the state is completely voluntary.
Industry inspectors already have been trained, tested and certified by the department and are performing liquid petroleum gas inspections. Large capacity scale and vehicle tank meter certifications will follow.
Redding said the CEWM program was authorized by Act 115 of 1996, but since that time, the state's inspection responsibilities have increased significantly. Act 115 allowed counties to turn over their weights and measures inspection programs to the state.
Since 1996, 50 counties have dropped their programs, resulting in an additional 100,000 inspections per year that must be picked up by the state.
In addition to conducting inspections, the department's Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards empowers consumers in other ways.
The department has a "Getting What You Pay For" guide available at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by clicking "Publications" and selecting that publication name from the drop-down menu. In addition, weights and measures inspections are online at the same website, by selecting "e-Services" and choosing "Weights and Measures Inspection Search."
Consumers can take an active role in weights and measures transactions. If you find a suspected faulty device, first contact the business operator. If they refuse to help, call the Department of Agriculture's toll-free weights and measures consumer line at 1-877-TEST-007 (1-877-837-8007) or file an online complaint form at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by clicking on "Contact."
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture