MDA Reports Weights and Measures Law Violations

March 30, 2013

MDA Reports Weights and Measures Law Violations Reports Cover January 1 through March 13, 2013

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Weights and Measures Section inspects and regulates devices used to determine the quantity of commodities as diverse as fuel oil, food products, livestock, grain, and precious metals. The Weights and Measures Section reported enforcement activity between January 1 and March 13, 2013, which is shown below. This announcement is part of MDA’s efforts to make the public aware of the agency’s regulatory activities on a routine basis.

• Safeway #945 of Potomac – On January 17, MDA received $1,000 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Safeway #107 of Greenbelt – On January 17, MDA received $500 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Weis #129 of Damascus – On January 23, MDA received $2,000 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Roots Market of Olney – On January 28, MDA received $500 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Safeway #2848 of Bethesda – On January 31, MDA received $500 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Whole Foods #52 of Gaithersburg – On February 13, MDA received $500 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.
• Grand Mart of Gaithersburg – On February 19, 2013 MDA received $750 for a civil penalty assessed for short weight.

During FY 2012, MDA issued 93 civil penalties that amounted to $94,250, most for packaging short weight violations and price misrepresentation. MDA completed field inspections of 8,261 package lots with 19.4 percent in violation; 16,002 price scanning and method of sale was inspected with 3.4 percent in violation. MDA field inspectors conducted 1,067 large scale inspections, with 16.1 percent in violation; 743 medium scale inspections, with 16 percent in violation; and 8,385 small scale inspections, with 21.5 percent in violation. MDA also inspected 28,970 retail gasoline meters, with 19.6 percent in violation; 481 LP gas meters, with 27.8 percent in violation; and 1,104 vehicle tank and rack meters, with 12 percent in violation. Inspectors tested 134 grain moisture meters, with 24.6 percent in violation. Other inspections include 2,072 tare inspections, with 11.9 percent in violation; and 1,294 inspections of delivery tickets, with 0.7 percent in violation. The state metrology lab conducted tests on 1,726 weights, with 13.3 percent rejected; 34 volumetric measures, with 41.2 percent rejected; 31 temperature devices, 2 timing devices and 405 grain samples. The lab completed National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) re-accreditation in November 2011.

MDA also investigated 584 consumer complaints during FY 2012, most related to complaints about the accuracy of retail motor fuel dispensers. That is an average of 2.4 complaints investigated every work day.

MDA’s Regulatory Information Center is designed to provide information to the public about enforcement actions the department takes in response to violations of state laws or regulations. This information includes administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions. For more information visit: www.mda.maryland.gov/news_room/reg_center.php.

For more than 35 years, MDA has been protecting consumers and the environment and ensuring fairness in the marketplace through enforcement of the law. MDA strives for swift resolution to violations of the laws in the Agriculture Article and the deterrence of future violations by the regulated community. For more information about how the Weights and Measures program works, see: http://mda.maryland.gov/Documents/ag_brief/AgBrief_WeightsMeasures.pdf

Tags: , , ,