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Richmond gas station settled with state for alleged price gouging during May pipeline shutdown
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Richmond gas station settled with state for alleged price gouging during May pipeline shutdown

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Handle fuel nozzle to refuel the car.

RICHMOND — Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s office said it has reached a settlement with a Richmond gas station for allegedly engaging in price gouging in May when the shutdown of a key U.S. pipeline disrupted gasoline supplies in Virginia.

Herring’s office said Wednesday it has obtained a settlement of nearly $5,000 from Richmond-based 7HC Inc., which does business as 7 Heaven BP, a gas station on Williamsburg Road.

Under the settlement, the business agreed to pay $2,000 in attorneys’ fees and has distributed $2,858.70 in refunds to 152 customers through credit card reimbursements and direct cash refunds, Herring’s office said.

It is the third such settlement Herring’s office has obtained from gas stations for allegedly gouging customers on gasoline prices after Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency May 11 because of the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Herring’s office alleged the gas station increased its prices for all grades of gasoline several times immediately after the state of emergency was declared, eventually topping out at $6.99 per gallon on regular and premium gasoline.

The average price for regular unleaded gasoline in Virginia on May 7 was $2.75, which rose to $2.79 on May 11 then jumped the next day to $2.87 per gallon following a run on gasoline during the pipeline shutdown, according to motorist club AAA, which tracks daily gasoline prices.

In the Richmond region, the average price May 7 was $2.74 per gallon, which rose to $2.77 by May 11 before jumping to $2.86 on May 12.

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