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Press Releases

February 25, 2016
Virginia Recognizes National Weights and Measures Week, March 1-7
Office of Weights and Measures protects the Commonwealth’s consumers and businesses
Contact: Sarah Pennington, 804.786.1904

Virginians frequently purchase consumer products based on a weight or measurement. For example, we buy gasoline by the gallon and purchase meat products by the pound. Ensuring these measurements are correct so consumers get what they pay for is one of the oldest functions of our government. To recognize this work, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) joins the National Conference on Weights and Measures  to observe National Weights and Measures Week during March 1-7, 2016.

The VDACS Office of Weights and Measures is responsible for the inspection of all commercially used weighing and measuring equipment in the Commonwealth. Part of the agency’s Division of Consumer Protection, this office administers the state’s laws and regulations designed to maintain the integrity of transactions between buyers and sellers and prevent unfair competition in the marketplace.

Inspectors in the Office of Weights and Measures use highly accurate field standards and equipment to test commercial scales, meters, and scanning equipment and check the weight of packaged products. Inspectors are also responsible for testing the accuracy of fuel pumps and sampling of motor fuels. The office licenses individuals who certify the accuracy of weight tickets. In addition to its main office in Richmond, the Office of Weights and Measures operates three field offices and a metrology laboratory.

Here are just some of this office’s activities during fiscal year 2015:

  • Conducted 10,720 calibrations of standards of mass and volume, and police radar tuning forks.
  • Conducted 74,082 tests of weighing and measuring equipment and rejected 16,857 for inaccuracies.
  • Collected and tested 4,931 samples of motor fuels to verify octane ratings, percentage of ethanol and check for the presence of water in the fuel.
  • Conducted 66,252 point-of-sale inspections to verify the accuracy of store check-out scanners.
  • Verified the accurate weighing of 21,503 store-wrapped packaged items.

National Weights and Measures Week is celebrated March 1-7 each year to commemorate John Adams signing the first United States weights and measures law on March 2, 1799.

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