Gasoline with higher than allowable levels of ethanol was delivered to gas stations and convenience stores in 21 Minnesota communities over the weekend.

The gas from the Magellan Midstream Partners Petroleum plant in Mankato contained more than 10 percent by volume ethanol, a Magellan spokesperson confirmed in media reports.

Bruce Heine, a spokesperson with Magellan, said that he didn't yet know the cause of the extra ethanol but called the error, "an operational issue" that the company was investigating.

"We've been reclaiming the gasoline at the stations and bringing that product back to our terminal in Mankato and replacing it with gasoline originating from our other terminals in the region," said Heine.

Regular gasoline in Minnesota typically contains 10 percent ethanol, the report said.

The Commerce Department traced the high-ethanol gas to 21 communities, but it declined to name specific stations that received it.

The communities are: Austin, Mankato, North Mankato, New Ulm, Redwood Falls, Sleepy Eye, Albert Lea, Renville, Owatonna, Olivia, Winnebago, LeSeuer, Springfield, St. Peter, Belle Plaine, Blue Earth, Hector, Winthrop, Morgan, Gaylord and Fairmont.

Magellan is still in the process of retrieving all the gas in questions, said Matt Swenson, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, this morning.

"What we are doing this morning is we're identifying all the gas stations that have not had that turnover yet, to make sure it happens as quickly as possible," Swenson said.

The Commerce Department doesn't have the authority to levy fines, but it has directed Magellan to fix the problem, give a full account of what happened and detail a procedure it's implementing to make sure it never happens again, Swenson said.

Commerce has received two consumer complaints and has been taking samples at stations affected by the mix-up, which will be tested today, he said.

source: postbulletin


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