Ag Commissioner Report

Written By: Admin
Published: October 1, 2018

Save the Date for Annual Grower Workshop

Please mark Thursday, December 6, 2018, on your calendar for our Annual Certified Private Applicator Workshop. Each year this workshop is given to provide certified private applicators and state certified applicators continuing education hours, as well as providing an opportunity to give updates on other topics related to agriculture in the county.

The workshop will be held at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, with registration beginning at 8:00 am and the program starting at 9:00 am. Watch for additional information by mail, email, and on our website at www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/AWM.

Congratulations to Priscilla Lane on her Retirement

Although she will be missed, the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures is happy to announce that Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Priscilla Lane has retired.

Priscilla retired on September 10, 2018 with over 30 years of public service. She started her career in the early 1980s, working in exotic detection programs for various county agricultural commissioner’s offices and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In 1991, Priscilla was hired by the Sutter County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office as Agricultural Inspector – the first female to ever be hired into that position in Sutter County. In the spring of 1992, Priscilla came to the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures and worked her way up the ladder, eventually becoming a Deputy Agricultural Commissioner in 2012.

Priscilla has had the opportunity to work closely with many of the growers in Sonoma County, especially in West County where she was the district deputy. Most recently, she supervised our European Grapevine Moth detection program and our Light Brown Apple Moth exclusion program. Her diligence in supervising our Farmer’s Markets and Organic programs will be remembered for a long time.

Priscilla’s work ethic and dedication to the Department and to Sonoma County’s agricultural community will be hard to replace. Please join us in wishing Priscilla a long, happy, and healthy retirement!

Inspecting Fuel Stations

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures enforces California laws that regulate how retail motor fuel stations may conduct commerce at the local level through routine inspections. During an inspection, the Department tests and certifies the accuracy of fuel dispensers, inspects labeling of petroleum products, the business’ pricing advertisements, and confirms disabled driver assistance, as well as access to air, water, and a public restroom.

The accuracy of the fuel dispenser is critical to the commercial transaction that takes place between the consumer and the business. Fuel dispensers are also inspected for proper labeling to ensure information is clearly posted and easy for consumers to understand. The fuel’s brand, grade (regular, mid-grade, premium), product type (gasoline, diesel), prices, volume measures, and octane ratings must all be posted on the dispenser. Additionally, underground storage tanks are required to be labeled to head off any potential confusion or mistakes during fuel delivery. Petroleum products used in ignition engines, including motor oils, brake oils, power steering oils, and engine coolants, are also checked for proper labeling certification requirements. Petroleum products may also be sampled for quality testing in consumer complaint cases or formal investigations.

Any business selling motor fuel to the public is required by law to advertise their top three fuel sellers. When dual pricing (credit card price and cash price) is offered, a business must, at a minimum, advertise the higher fuel prices. Advertisements must be in specific areas of the business, must be clear, unambiguous, minimum font size and type, and must clearly describe any condition that a consumer must meet to obtain an advertised sale offer.

California law requires a service station to offer any fuel-purchasing driver displaying a state issued disabled driver placard assistance with fueling their vehicle if requested. Service stations are required to post and honor their Disabled Driver Assistance policy in a conspicuous location.

Lastly, service stations are required to offer free air and water to fuel purchasing customers and to post a sign stating this requirement. State law also requires service stations to operate functioning public restrooms if the station is located a certain distance from a major highway or freeway.

For additional information, please contact the Department at (707) 565-2371.

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