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February 17, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 4

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In This Issue

Dear PEI Member:

In the last 10 years, no issue has caused more trouble for underground storage tank (UST) systems than corrosion related to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD).

Shortly after the 2006 introduction of ULSD, which lowered on-road diesel’s allowable sulfur content to 15 ppm, PEI began receiving complaints of unusual corrosion in both the wetted and dry surfaces of ULSD storage systems. Since then, the problems have only grown worse. Just last year, a research project led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that a staggering 83 percent of the ULSD systems in the study were experiencing moderate to severe corrosion.

But wait, there’s more.

On Jan. 1, 2017, yet another ultra low sulfur product entered the nation’s vehicle fuel supply chain. This time, it’s gasoline.

The new Tier 3 gasoline standard provides that, with only limited exceptions for small refineries, producers must now limit the maximum annual average of sulfur in their gasoline to 10 ppm. As with ULSD, the change is part of the ongoing effort to lower vehicle emissions.

If lowering sulfur in diesel has led—in one way or another—to increased corrosion, mightn’t the reduction of sulfur in gasoline have similar effects?

It’s a fair question. But, to date, there is no answer. No public research on Tier 3 gasoline and corrosion has been conducted or even announced.

On the hopeful side, at least three factors suggest that Tier 3 gasoline might be less problematic than ULSD.

First is the scale of the sulfur reduction. Since 2004, most of the nation’s refiners have been required to limit their gasoline’s sulfur content to a maximum annual average of 30 ppm. The reduction to 10 ppm sulfur is a less dramatic change than the switch to ULSD, which took diesel from 500 ppm per gallon all the way down to 15 ppm.

Second, although gasoline with 10 ppm sulfur is new to most of the United States, California has mandated a similar formulation—without any apparent problems—for more than 10 years. Japan, South Korea and the EU also have followed 10 ppm sulfur standards for quite some time.

Tier 3 Gasoline

OSHA Fall Protection Rule Challenged

PEI Women Conference

PEI Foundation Scholarship Deadline




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Third, the ethanol found in 97 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States discourages the development of water bottoms in tanks. And water is the primary breeding ground for the bacteria that most experts believe is responsible for ULSD-related corrosion.

At the same time, any conclusion that the introduction of Tier 3 gasoline will be problem-free is far from a safe bet. More often than not, new fuel introductions in the United States have produced unintended negative consequences. The lead added to gasoline beginning in the 1920s successfully reduced engine knocking, but was so toxic that it had to be abandoned in the 1980s. The widespread use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in the 1990s to meet Clean Air Act oxygenation requirements turned out to be a huge problem when the carcinogenic compound was found to be infiltrating and contaminating groundwater. Even today’s ethanol fuel blends have led to unhelpful phase separation and, more recently, troublesome corrosion in sumps.

What will PEI distributors, contractors and their customers see as Tier 3 gasoline is stored, metered and dispensed in ever-increasing quantities? Time will tell. But we hope you will tell us if you and your customers encounter unusual problems with the new fuel. 

At least nine parties have filed legal challenges to the fall protection rules for general industry published by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) on Nov. 18, 2016 (see Dec. 14, 2016 TL). Originally spread across seven federal appeals courts, the various cases have now been consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, based in Chicago. Most provisions of the new rules—the first major update to the 29 CFR 1910 walking-working surface standards in 45 years—took effect Jan. 17, 2017.

Early-bird registration for the 2017 PEI Women Conference, to be held April 25-27 in Savannah, Georgia, closes Feb. 28. Conference presenters include author and speaker Linda Larsen and co-founder of the Learning Café, Diane Thielfoldt. Larsen will present two educational sessions: “Achieving Excellence in Challenging Times” and “Gender Communications: It’s Not Your Mother’s Playground Anymore.” Thielfoldt will lead a highly interactive workshop designed to equip participants with the skills needed to succeed in today’s multi-generational workplace.

Attendees also will benefit greatly from a panel discussion featuring the insights, perspectives and experiences of five extremely accomplished PEI Women members: Chris Blumberg of SouthEastern Petroleum Systems; Paola Bravo of S. Bravo Systems; Marion Long of Walsh, Long & Co.; Joyce Rizzo of JD2 Environmental; and Ann Thomas of Petroleum Marketing Equipment.

Early-bird registration is $495 ($595 for nonmembers) through Feb. 28. After that, the fee increases to $595 for members ($695 for nonmembers). Note that the nonmember registration fee includes lifetime PEI Women membership. PEI’s negotiated room rate at the conference hotel, the Embassy Suites Savannah, is $169. To learn more, register for the conference and book your hotel rooms, click here.

Each year the PEI Foundation awards a number of $1,000 Charles D. Kemp scholarships to deserving dependents of full-time employees of PEI member companies. The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarships is March 31. Applicants must plan to enroll as an entering freshman for the 2017-18 academic year at an accredited four-year college or university. Scholarship awards are based on academic achievement, leadership, character, financial need and the applicant’s intent to contribute to the future of the fuel and fuel handling equipment industry. Visit  www.pei.org/foundation to download the complete scholarship guidelines and application form. If you have any questions about the application process, contact Teresa Jonkman at tjonkman@pei.org.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has revised and reopened public comments
on proposed amendments to the state’s regulations governing aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). The revised proposed regulations and related information can be viewed here. The public comment period will remain open through March 3, 2017.
Oregon’s legislature is considering bills that would expand the public’s unattended gas stations.
In 2016, Oregon’s legislature allowed self-service fueling from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in counties with a population of less than 40,000. One new proposal would permit 24-hour self-service fueling in these counties. A companion bill would grant consumers in these counties access to cardlock fueling stations currently available only to commercial vehicles.
A leak in Fort Payne, Alabama, resulted in a release of roughly 40,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline. Because of a drought, the water table was low enough to confine the leak and prevent runoff into streams. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management noted that no private drinking water wells are within 1,000 feet of the site, and no public water supply wells are within one mile of the site.

Guardian Fueling Technologies
of Jacksonville, Florida, has opened new service branches in Columbia, South Carolina, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The new branches are the ninth and 10th locations for the privately held distributor.

The U.S. convenience store count increased
to a record 154,535 stores as of December 31, 2016, a 0.2% increase (340 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2017 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count …. Overall, 80.1% of convenience stores (123,807) sell motor fuels, a decrease of 0.6% (or 567 stores) from 2016, with the single-store motor fuel segment dropping by 604 stores.”—NACS Online, Feb. 2, 2017
To meet the future needs of the growing EV market, Royal Dutch Shell plans to add electric vehicle chargers at its gasoline stations in Europe, according to an article in The Financial Times. The first EV chargers will be installed in gas stations in Britain and the Netherlands, which are the oil company's home countries, but FT did not list a construction timeline.”—The Drive, Feb. 1, 2017

“The chief executives of 18 major automakers and their U.S. units urged President Donald Trump
to revisit a decision by the Obama administration to lock in vehicle fuel efficiency rules through 2025. In a letter sent late Friday and viewed by Reuters, the chief executives of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, along with the top North American executives at Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and others urged Trump to reverse the decision, warning thousands of jobs could be at risk.”—Reuters, Feb. 12, 2017
As home to almost half of all of the electric vehicles (EVs) being sold in the United States, California is clearly the nation's proving ground for their deployment. But the trend is not promising. With about 71,000 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) being bought annually in the state, the adoption rate is less than half of what will be needed to reach California's target of 1.5 million ZEVs on its roads by 2025.”—Governing, Feb. 13, 2017

Rentz Woodruff
, founder of Meco Inc. of Florence, in Florence, South Carolina, passed away December 28, 2016, at age 92. During World War II, Rentz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served his country in the initial invasion of Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian. He opened Meco Inc. of Florence in 1964. Although Rentz passed control of the business to his son Taylor in 1989, he remained active in Meco Inc. of Florence for many more years. He was predeceased by his wife, Annette; son, Zachary; and two brothers, Arthur and Ernest. Survivors include son Taylor Woodruff and his wife, Dena.

DEF equipment manufacturer. Titan Chemical Transfer Solutions LLC, 3040 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC 29611, has applied for manufacturer division membership. Tom Nuckolls is president of the company, which was established in 2012. Titan manufactures DEF equipment that is sold through distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Rick Trotter, TotalMtrON, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ohio LED price display systems manufacturer. Able Applied Technologies, 1859 Denune Ave., Columbus, OH 43211, has applied for affiliate division membership. Bryan Davis is responsible for client relationships for the firm, which was established in 1989. The company provides price signs and systems across the United States. Sponsored for PEI membership by David Sindelar, SignRes, Kansas City, Missouri.

China LCD display manufacturer. Blaze Display Technology Co. Ltd., 5/F, HSAE Tech Building, Hi-Tech Park, Nanshan, Shenzhen, 518057, China, has applied for affiliate division membership. Ellen Hu is area sales manager for the firm, which was established in 1982. The company manufactures LCD display for fuel dispensers. Sponsored for PEI membership by Ronald Walker, AlliedElec, Bristol, Pennsylvania.


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© 2017
Petroleum Equipment Institute
P. O. Box 2380
Tulsa, OK 74101-2380

The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Richard C. Long, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.