A state audit has found that the Department of Agriculture assessed only two fines following thousands of safety violations involving liquefied petroleum.
Liquefied Petroleum – or L.P. – gas is used in grills, lighters and even to heat homes. During a 12-month period, Department of Agriculture inspectors wrote nearly 7,500 safety violations, but levied just two fines. State Auditor Beth Wood says violations ranged from storage plants, to dangerous pipes in homes. She says inspectors should have assessed much more in penalties.
Beth Wood: "The department of Agriculture could have $2.5 million and this money would have been used in the school system. As it is, there was only two instances – $7,100 was assessed and only $4,000 was accepted."
Calls to the Agriculture Department were not returned. Wood says many of the infractions pose a risk to public safety.