Weights and Measures
The weights and measures branch is tasked with ensuring equity in the market place. Inspectors use a variety of International and National standards along with Kentucky Revised Statues and Administrative Regulations to ensure that commerce is conducted fair and equitable manner. The branch administers the following programs.
The gas pump program is responsible for the testing of retail motor fuel dispensers for compliance with NIST Handbook 44 requirements including the quantity delivered is accurate and that the total price is computed correctly. Inspectors serve both consumers and businesses by assuring equity in the marketplace.
Motor Fuel Quality
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Motor Fuel Quality Law requires that each retail business that sells motor fuel be registered. Retail facility owners and operators are required to pay an annual fee of fifty ($50) for the purpose of funding the program. The Motor Fuel Quality Program is responsible for the inspection and testing of gasoline, gasoline-alcohol blends, diesel, and biodiesel fuels to ensure that the quality of the product complies with Kentucky state law and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards and specifications.
The Limestone Inspection Program provides analysis of agricultural grade limestone. Limestone is used as a neutralizing agent for soil acidity and is tested in the latter parts of summer and winter so results are available before the spring and fall dustings. Samples are laboratory tested for particle fineness and their Calcium Carbonate Equivalent (CCE). Any owner who conducts a business for the purpose of offering or exposing limestone for sale, must be licensed with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture annually.
This division inspects point of sale weighing devices for accuracy. These include large industrial scales, vehicle scales, small scales and livestock scales. Inspectors verify that scales meet NIST Handbook 44 requirements and state laws and regulations.
Inspectors check consumer packages for compliance with labeling, method of sale and net content laws and regulations. Inspectors use NIST Handbooks 130 and 133 to complete these inspections. Inspections consist of products that are labeled by weight, volume or count.
This program is responsible for testing scales and re-checking the weights of warehouse-weighed tobacco. All persons operating a warehouse for tobacco sales must license annually. All persons weighing received tobacco must be bonded either individually or under a blanket bond.
Teen and Tobacco
This program was enacted in 1996 with the passage of Senate Bill 137 to prevent the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. The department and their inspectors shall carry out annually conducted, random, unannounced inspections of retail establishments where tobacco products are sold or distributed for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of KRS 438.305 to 438.340. Miss Kentucky is a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Teen and Tobacco program. Miss Kentucky travels all over the Bluegrass State speaking to students about the laws and penalties pertaining to tobacco use and possession by minors.
Inspectors inspect retail establishments to confirm that consumers are charged the price that is indicated. Inspectors follow the model procedure in NIST Handbook 130 to select items from the store inventory to compare price posted to price charged. Establishments are allowed a 2% inaccuracy rate before a failed inspection.
Service Agency Registration
The Service Agency & Serviceperson program registers qualified service companies and individuals to install, adjust, or recondition commercial weighing and measuring devices. All service companies/individuals must register with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture annually.
The Kentucky Metrology Laboratories provide calibration services and technical guidance for private industries, scale and meter repair companies, other state agencies, and weights and measures inspectors within the division. Weights, volumetric test measures and provers, and liquid propane provers are all calibrated by the metrology laboratories. These calibrations check and maintain the accuracy of the equipment used to set up, monitor, inspect and repair all types of scales and meters throughout the state.
The Kentucky Metrology Laboratories are recognized by and traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Comprehensive quality assurance programs, in depth standard procedures, and well-trained staff ensure the accuracy and reliability of all calibrations.
The laboratories are currently testing NIST Class F weights from 0.001 lb-1,000 lb, 1mg-2kg; and 5 gallon-100 gallon volumetric measures. Out of state certificates from recognized laboratories will be accepted with authorization.
The division inspects meters for technical requirements and to ensure accuracy of delivery in accordance with NIST Handbook 44. The types of meters inspected include:
- Liquid Propane
- Vehicle Tank
- Farm Milk Tanks