Transferred July 1, 2016Until June 30, 2016, statutory authority for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures is found at A.R.S. §§41-2051 et seq. Powers and duties will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Transportation effective July 1, 2016 and statutory authority will be found in Title 3 (Agriculture) at A.R.S. §§3-3401 through 3-3515, and Title 28 (Transportation) at A.R.S. §§28-9501 through 28-9526.
The DWM serves as the custodian for the measurement standards used in Arizona and licenses commercial devices used to sell commodities by weight or measure. DWM conducts inspections of regulated facilities to ensure compliance with state laws related to weights and measures; inspects commercial devices (scales, meters) and regulated facilities; investigates complaints; and pursues enforcement actions as necessary. The Department also licenses vehicles-for-hire (livery services, taxis, limousines).
Weights and measures regulatory functions were initially assigned to the Office of the State Inspector of Weights and Measures and City Sealers in 1912. In 1974, the Legislature transferred the responsibilities to the State Weights and Measures Division within the Arizona Department of Administration. In 1987, those responsibilities were transferred to the Department of Weights and Measures when it was created as a stand-alone agency. Effective July 1, 2016, the DWM will be abolished and the majority of its functions will be transferred to the Division of Weights and Measures Services within the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Regulation related to for-hire transportation (taxis, limousines, livery vehicles) will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). See Laws 2015, Chapter 244.
Laws 1912, Chapter 91 acknowledged the state would use the standard weights and measures received from the federal government, as certified by the National Bureau of Standards. The law “created the office of the State Inspector and city sealers; defined powers and duties; provided for inspection and sealing of weights, measures and devices; defined standards to be used, regulated weighing and measuring of merchandise and commodities sold and offered for sale in the state; and provided penalties for violations of the law.” The law classified violations as a misdemeanor, and established a civil fine between $5 and $250The State Inspector, appointed by the Governor, was authorized to collect fees, and to inspect, test and seal (indicating certification) scales and measuring devices at least once every two years. The Inspector was required to take charge of the standards, keep them in a fireproof state building or safe, and have them recertified by the National Bureau of Standards once every 10 years.The law specifically addressed the sale of coal, wood, ice, meat, butter, coffee, tea, cereal, produce, vinegar and oils, as well as bottles used for distilled water, milk and cream. (Petroleum products, lubricating oil and cotton were added to the list of commodities in 1927 and poultry was added in 1933. See Laws 1927, Chapter 16; Laws 1927, Chapter 54 and Laws 1933, Chapter 8.)
A second measure enacted in 1912 required the State Inspector to test the accuracy of each meter used to measure water, electricity or gas furnished to a consumer. The State Inspector and City Sealers worked under the direction and control of the Corporation Commission with regard to the sale of water, electricity and gas. The Inspector was also required to maintain a record of owners of meters and inspections, and to make the information available to the public. The responsibilities of the City Sealers were similar to those of the Inspector. Responsibility was divided between the two, based on population and political boundaries. See Laws 1912, First Special Session, Chapter 52.
Laws 1927, Chapter 16 required a public weighmaster to weigh cotton. A weighmaster was required to file a performance bond of $1,000; obtain a seal from the State Inspector and to maintain records. A second law enacted in 1927 prescribed a standard grade for gasoline and other petroleum products used to fuel cars, tractors and motor boats; prescribed conditions of sale for lubricating oils used in engines; and required the University of Arizona to analyze samples provided by the State Inspector. Violations were classified as a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $500 and up to six months imprisonment. See Laws 1927, Chapter 54.
Laws 1935, Chapter 96 required retention of weight certificates and records of public weighing for at least five years.Laws 1974, Chapter 200 established the State Weights and Measures Division within the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) and transferred the powers and duties of the State Inspector of Weights and Measures to the Division. The law generally tracked existing responsibilities as it established statutory authority for administration, provided for regulation and enforcement of weights and measures; outlined objectives and duties of the Division; created the metrology lab; addressed sale of commodities; provided for licensing, testing, and certification of devices used for commercial purposes; prescribed a schedule of fees for various measuring devices; and required licensing for weighmasters, service agencies and servicemen.Laws 1975, Chapter 146 allowed, rather than required, the Division to establish standards for cost-per-unit information. The law specified use of such information was not mandated.
Laws 1976, Chapter 69 exempted weighing devices used for non-commercial purposes from licensure and fees. The law also exempted a device used to measure five gallons or less from regulation if the device carried a proper mark, as established by the National Bureau of Standards.Laws 1979, Chapter 88 allowed the Division to establish standards for retail sale of gasoline, motor fuel oil and antifreeze; established penalties for failure to pay fees when due; provided for potential revocation of license; and addressed concurrent jurisdiction of the Attorney General and the county attorney.
Laws 1981, Chapter 103 corrected defective enactments from 1975, 1976 and 1979.Laws 1987, Chapter 314 created the Department of Weights and Measures (DWM) as a stand-alone agency with a Governor-appointed Director. The law transferred powers, duties and rules, including personnel, records, furnishings, equipment, and unexpended monies from ADOA Division of Weights and Measures to the new Department. The law also required the DWM to develop and implement a pilot program to privatize weights and measures services, to be presented to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee by August 1, 1987 for approval. A report on the effectiveness of the pilot program was due to the Legislature by December 31, 1988.Three measures were enacted in 1990 relating to the DWM.
Laws 1990, Chapter 39 prescribed duties of the DWM regarding sampling and testing of gasoline and labeling of oxygenated fuels sold in nonattainment areas. Laws 1990, Chapter 135 incorporated conforming changes to DWM statutes as a result of the federal name change from the National Bureau of Standards to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Finally, Laws 1990, Chapter 331 added sampling and testing of used oil to the DWM responsibilities and allowed collection of fees to cover the cost of testing. The measure included a purpose clause explaining the Legislature’s recognition of the need to recycle used oil into useful products.Two measures were enacted in 1991 relating to DWM.
Laws 1991, Chapter 174 modified department responsibilities with respect to establishing standards for liquid fuels, including standards and test methods relating to vapor pressure for gasoline and oxygenated fuels. Laws 1991, Chapter 220 required DWM to establish by rule, labeling standards for tanks and containers of liquid fuel and used oil. The law created the Used Oil Fund and provided for deposit of used oil fees and testing fees to be deposited into the Used Oil Fund, rather than the state General Fund. Monies in the fund were to be used to cover the cost of monitoring, testing, investigations and enforcement as well as capital obligations required for sampling and testing activities conducted by DWM.Twomeasures were enacted in 1992 relating to DWM.
Laws 1992 Chapter 176 established civil penalties for violations of statutory requirements of up to $500 per infraction and up to $5,000 for each 30 day period. The law also modified responsibility regarding standards for vapor pressure for gasoline blends containing alcohol. Laws 1992, Chapter 299 was a comprehensive environmental/air quality bill. It required DWM to test vapor recovery systems at least once each year and outlined responsibilities with regard to new gasoline vapor control requirements. DWM and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) were required to work together to adopt emergency rules and to prepare a report on reformulated gasoline, fuel standards, used oil and retrofit programs. The report was due to the Governor and Legislature by January 15, 1993.
Laws 1996, Chapter 258 transferred responsibility for the used oil program from DWM to ADEQ.Laws 2001, Chapter 164 specified licensing requirements and qualifications for public weighmasters, deputy weighmasters and for service agency licenses. The measure also established a fee for mechanized and electronic counting devices.Laws 2002, Chapter 104 established standards, labeling requirements and reporting requirements for sale and production of biodiesel fuel.
Laws 2006, Chapter 98 established standards, labeling, and reporting requirements for production and sale of ethanol blend 85 (E85).Laws 2008, Chapter 254, established the biofuels conversion program within the Commerce Department. Biofuel is defined as a fuel derived from biological material, such as plant or animal matter, which can be used for heating or as a motor fuel. The law established labeling standards and requirements for its sale.Laws 2014, Chapter 132 addressed DWM responsibilities related to Stage II vapor recovery systems which are designed to prevent gasoline vapor from escaping into the environment when motorists refuel their vehicles. Because most vehicles manufactured since 2006 have an onboard vapor recovery system, states are no longer required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain a Stage II vapor recovery system. The law authorizes DWM to work with other state agencies to establish standards to decommission the systems. www3.epa.gov/ozonepollution.
Laws 2015, Chapter 244 abolishes the DWM and divides responsibilities between the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Transportation. Effective July 1, 2016, the majority of DWM functions will be transferred to the Division of Weights and Measures Services within the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Regulation of for-hire transportation (taxis, limousines, livery vehicles) will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- Session Laws
- Laws 1912, Chapter 91
- Laws 1912, First Special Session, Chapter 52
- Laws 1927, Chapter 16 and Chapter 54
- Laws 1933 Chapter 8
- Laws 1935, Chapter 96
- Laws 1974, Chapter 200
- Laws 1975, Chapter 146
- Laws 1976, Chapter 69
- Laws 1979, Chapter 88
- Laws 1981, Chapter 103
- Laws 1987, Chapter 314
- Laws 1990, Chapter 39, Chapter 135, and Chapter 331
- Laws 1991, Chapter 174 and Chapter 220
- Laws 1992, Chapter 176 and Chapter 299
- Laws 1996, Chapter 258
- Laws 2001, Chapter 164
- Laws 2002, Chapter 104
- Laws 2006, Chapter 98
- Laws 2008, Chapter 254
- Laws 2014, Chapter 132
- Laws 2015 Chapter 244
- Master List of State Programs 2014-2016. www.ospb.state.az.us
- Weights and Measures Services Division: https://agriculture.az.gov/weights-measures-services-division
- Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures. EPA-457/B-12-001. August 7, 2012. www3.epa.gov