|For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 12, 2009
|Contact: Scott R. Bryer, CPA
Chief of Road Toll Operations
Safety Steps Up Dyed Fuel Enforcement
Concord, NH: The NH Department of Safety has begun a new enforcement program through the State Police and Road Toll Bureau in coordination with the United States Internal Revenue Service called the Dyed Fuel Evasion Enforcement Project (DFEEP). The primary objective of DFEEP is to create a Federal/State dyed fuel enforcement initiative. The Department has had a group of state troopers and road toll auditors certified by IRS certified fuel instructors to conduct diesel fuel compliance sampling. The Department will utilize the IRS Excise Forensic Laboratory for testing for dye content in diesel fuel being used on the state’s highway system.
The vast majority of highway funding comes from road tolls (motor fuel taxes) that are collected from motor fuel distributors. These taxes are passed onto the consumer at the retail pump. Special Fuel (diesel) sold by a distributor on which state motor fuel taxes have not been paid shall have a dye added to it at the terminal or refinery rack. Dyed diesel fuel is intended to be utilized in an off-highway capacity such as agriculture, construction, or logging. The use of diesel fuel containing dye in motor vehicles on New Hampshire highways is prohibited by state law under RSA 260:52-d.
That law allows any person authorized by the Department of Safety to physically inspect fuel tanks and take and remove samples of diesel fuel as necessary to determine that fuel’s composition. The inspection procedure consists of inserting a pipette into the vehicle’s fuel tank. The officer will be looking for a red or cranberry color that would indicate the presence of dye. Upon visual detection of dye the officer will then remove samples in reasonable quantities necessary to determine the composition of the fuel. The samples and information are then forwarded to the IRS Excise Forensic Laboratory.
Any person who violates any provision of RSA 260:52-d commits a violation and shall upon conviction pay a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500. In addition to the fine the person shall be assessed a penalty of $1,000 or $10 per gallon of dyed diesel in the vehicle’s tank, whichever is greater. The individual may also be subject to federal fines and penalties assessed through the IRS. Any person that refuses to allow an inspection authorized by the section commits a violation and is subject to pay a fine of $1,000 per refusal.
Funding for DFEEP was obtained through a highway use tax evasion grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Any questions regarding this project can be forwarded to Scott Bryer at the Road Toll Bureau at (603) 271-2302.