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Potential fuel contamination identified at the Port of Tampa; Tampa Bay area drivers may be impacted

Gas pump inserted into a car's tank.
Joe Raedle
Getty Images
A potentially widespread fuel contamination issue, caused by human error at the Port of Tampa, could impact fuel sold as far south as Naples.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has identified a potentially widespread fuel contamination issue caused by human error at the Port of Tampa that could impact fuel sold throughout the Tampa Bay region and Southwest Florida.

A potentially widespread fuel contamination issue, caused by human error at the Port of Tampa, could impact fuel sold throughout the greater Tampa Bay region.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services identified the contamination and said any fuel purchased after 10 a.m. on Saturday at stations supplied by Citgo from the Port of Tampa has a strong likelihood of being contaminated with diesel fuel.

Citgo eventually released a list of gas stations that received contaminated fuel. FDACS is aware 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.

Citgo sells gas to BJs, 7-Eleven, and also some unbranded stations. FDACS will send a more accurate list as it becomes available.

The list of affected Florida gas stations includes several in Southwest Florida, including:

  • BJ's Wholesale: 1929 Pine Island Road N.E., Cape Coral
  • BJ's Wholesale: 9372 Ben C Pratt Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Fort Myers
  • 7-Eleven: 714 Burnt Store Road, Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 1626 Meadow Road, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 720 Chiquita Boulevard, North Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 2604 Skyline Boulevard, Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 4325 Lee Boulevard, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 12750 South Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers
  • 7-Eleven: 1626 Meadow Road, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 601 Pine Island Rd. S.W., Cape Coral
  • Handy Foods Store #86: 21321 Palm Beach Blvd., Alva
  • Handy Foods Store #87: 3205 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres
  • Superday CITGO: 1595 South McCall Road, Port Charlotte
  • Quick & Easy Stop: 4529 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota
  • Palmers Easy Stop: 903 Cattleman Rd., Sarasota
  • Big Dan's Car Wash: 39522 US Highway 19 N., Tarpon Springs
  • 7-Eleven: 3437 US Highway 19, Holiday
  • 7-Eleven: 13411 Fish Hawk Boulevard, Lithia
  • 7-Eleven: 290 Lakeland Park Road, Lakeland
  • 7-Eleven: 940 S Broad St., Brooksville
  • 7-Eleven: 2401 James Redman Parkway, Plant City
  • 7-Eleven: 6050 Dean Dairy Road, Zephyrhills
  • BJ's Wholesale: 13585 NE 86th Path, Lady Lakes
  • Bolton One LLC: 15434 US Highway 19, Hudson
  • JHW #310 - DBA Avenue CITGO: 11867 N. Williams St., Dunellon
  • AL Prime - Daytona Beach: 1898 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach
  • Faulkenburg CITGO: 5320 Faulkenburg Road, Tampa
  • Choice Food & Gas: 310 N Central Ave., Umatilla
  • 2K Express 5: 6202 N 40th St., Tampa
  • Perfection Station 5: 9931 N Florida Ave., Tampa

PLEASE NOTE: Under state and federal law, FDACS must rely upon CITGO to provide the list of impacted gas stations. Consumers should be aware that the company may update this list. FDACS will also update this list as necessary as of result of increased fuel testing in the impacted areas.

Florida Division of Emergency Management director Kevin Guthrie, speaking at a special hurricane/storm press briefing Sunday, said everything was being done to try to curtail any effects from the contamination.

"Basically it was just human error — they just they they put diesel in tanks that were supposed to be regular gas," said Gov. Ron DeSantis, also speaking at the briefing.

"Hopefully we don't have that many people that are affected by this. Obviously if you have a tank of gas and it's 90% regular and 10% diesel, the dilution probably may not ruin your car, but I mean if you put a whole tank of diesel, that's going to be a major, major problem."

Guthrie said his division was coordinating with everyone from petroleum retailers to the port's themselves to ensure that any fuel disruption will not be widespread or prolonged.

"We have already waived the size, weight and our restrictions for getting those necessary resources into the state and down to consumers as quickly and effectively as possible," Guthrie said, adding FDACS officials were conducting investigations on how widespread the situation is.

Contaminated gasoline and diesel have the potential of causing engine damage or affecting operability.

Impacted stations have been asked 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.

Anyone who purchased gas from affected stations after 10 a.m. on Saturday is advised by the Florida Department of Agriculture of Consumer services that vehicles or generators may not properly function.

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.

WGCU Staff