TDA celebrates 30 years of ensuring reliable fuel

NASHVILLE — When we fill up at the pump, we expect to get good, clean fuel. But why do we trust what we put in our car’s tank? For 30 years, it’s been because the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Fuel Quality section has worked with industry partners to ensure that kerosene and motor fuels sold in the state are reliable and accurately labeled. 

“Since this program began, we’ve seen excellent compliance with the state standards,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “We are proud to now have a 96% fuel quality compliance rate in our state. We look forward to continue serving the people of Tennessee and those who deliver a reliable fuel to the market for years to come.”

The Kerosene and Motor Fuels Quality Inspection Act was signed into law in 1989 and charged the Commissioner of Agriculture with establishing and administering a fuel quality inspection program.

TDA conducted a statewide survey of 111 retail fuel samples in 1988. One-third of the samples failed to meet conventional standards or posted declarations. The survey led to a special legislative committee charged with studying the findings. With input from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, industry representatives, and administrators from North Carolina and Florida’s fuel quality programs, the committee ultimately recommended the enactment of the new law. 

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote responsible use of our agricultural and forest resources, develop economic opportunities and ensure safe and dependable food and fiber for the citizens of Tennessee. For more information on the Fuel Quality program, visit

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