According to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP – Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos), 31 of the country’s gas stations do not comply with quality and quantity standards for their products, including super, regular or plus grades of gasoline. Among those stations, four are located in Guanacaste.
Carolina Mora, spokesperson for ARESEP, said that the four Guanacaste stations are Estacion de Servicios JSM and Servicentro Santa Cruz in the canton of Santa Cruz, Petrolium Total in Liberia, and Servicentro Samara for Nicoya.
“Sediments were detected at these stations, primarily because of problems at the moment of unloading the product and lack of [both] tank maintenance and changing the stations’ filters,” said Mora.
She indicated that the gas stations in Santa Cruz and Nicoya were tested in March of this year, while stations in Liberia were tested in June. Results of the analyses were published on Monday, August 4 in the daily La Gaceta.
Problems that can be caused by contaminated fuel include the loss of motor capacity, saturation or obstruction of the injection system or saturation of the filter system, among others.
Mora also stated that the stations mentioned are being subjected to a process to determine the kind of penalty they will receive, with fines ranging from ₡3 million ($5,500) to ₡20 million ($37,000). It is worth noting that repeat offenders (companies that have been penalized before) could lose their operating permits.
According to the spokesperson, 91% of gas stations in the country are in compliance with standards outlined by hydrocarbon laws.