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Gas Station Operator Placed on Probation

VALLEY FOCUS | Van Nuys

July 29, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

A Panorama City gas station operator was ordered to pay more than $3,500 and given two years' probation Tuesday, after pleading no contest to charges that he sold diesel fuel with a dangerously low ignition temperature.

Fariborz Hariri, 42, of Canoga Park, was charged in late June after diesel fuel that failed to conform with state standards was sold from his Texaco station at 13606 Roscoe Blvd.

The fuel Hariri was selling had a so-called flash point of 51 degrees, according to investigators with the California Division of Measurement Standards, who tested diesel fuel No. 2 purchased from the Panorama City Texaco during an undercover operation in April.

State law requires that diesel fuel No. 2 have a minimum flash point of about 125 degrees.

The flash point indicates the temperature at which a particular fuel's vapor will ignite. The flash point of diesel can be lowered when it is mixed with other petroleum products.

In this case, since the flash point was so low, Hariri's gas probably got mixed with typical automotive gasoline or motor oil, said Don Cocek, who prosecuted the gas station operator in Van Nuys Municipal Court.

After pleading no contest on Tuesday, Hariri was ordered to pay $2,800 in penalties and $854 in investigative costs, Cocek said.

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