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August 31, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 17

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In This Issue

Dear PEI Member:

Heartbreaking. Horrific. Unimaginable.

Whatever word you pick, it doesn’t do justice to the tragedy that continues to unfold along the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Harvey and the floods that followed in its wake. Homes have been destroyed. Lives lost. Local economies strained. And, of course, thousands of retail fueling facilities have been forced out of commission, at least temporarily.

PEI members who live and work near the coast are at the center of the tragedy. Calls and emails to PEI headquarters confirm that high waters have forced distributors to temporarily close some branches. Employees have evacuated their homes, and many will find extensive property damage when they return.

But even as they address their personal challenges, PEI members in the affected region also are working to rebuild the vehicle fueling infrastructure in this densely populated region.

PEI has emailed 451 individuals in our database who were in the path of the storm to express our concern and provide a way for them to update the PEI community on their status. You can track comments as they come in at this link. We also invite you to post encouraging words or any help you might be able to provide to your fellow members. In fact, as I began writing this, one PEI contractor on the East Coast offered to send a truck and crew to Texas. Other members have let me know privately that they are reaching out to assist their friends in need.

As installers, contractors and underground storage tank (UST) owner/operators work to bring retail facilities back online, one of the most valuable resources has been the Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide, produced in 2010 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This 30-page manual provides helpful advice for catastrophic situations in which a UST has floated out of the ground, precautions to protect UST systems before a flood, as well as testing and inspection minimums to help owners and operators restart UST systems impacted by high waters.

Hurricane Harvey

Florida Studying Ethanol and Biodiesel Damage

Hot Fuel Settlement Affirmed

New I-9 Form


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The EPA guide also references the advice in PEI’s RP100: Recommended Practices for the Installation of Underground Liquid Storage Systems for the installation of USTs in areas prone to flooding or subject to high water tables. While second nature to installers who regularly work in such areas, the recommendations are worthwhile reading for any contractor who might need a refresher. Because increased burial depth is the primary method of restraining tanks in areas subject to flooding, an appendix in PEI/RP100 provides formulas for calculating the depth required to prevent flotation under various scenarios. The document also gives detailed advice on the three primary tank anchoring strategies:

  • Increasing the thickness and reinforcement of the concrete pad over the tank;
  • Deadmen anchors placed outside of the tank and extending the length of the tank;
  • A bottom hold-down pad consisting of 8 inches of reinforced concrete extending at least 18 inches beyond the tank sides and 1 foot beyond each end.

To our members—our friends—along the Gulf Coast, the thoughts and prayers of the entire PEI community are with you during this difficult time. Please let us know how you are doing and how we can help.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is making low-interest loans available to businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods. The loans of up to $2 million at rates as low as 3.3 percent may be used for recovery costs related to machinery, equipment, inventory, real estate and other assets. The Texas Food and Fuel Association has a helpful guide with information about eligibility, the application process and funding details.
To ease weather-created disruptions in the region’s fuel supply, the EPA on Aug. 30 issued a temporary waiver of Reid vapor pressure requirements for 12 states and the District of Columbia. The waiver will continue in effect through Sept. 15.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a free mobile app with directions to open shelters and disaster centers, weather alerts and customizable checklists. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

At the request of the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is surveying the state’s petroleum system storage contractors (PSSCs) about damage to UST systems possibly caused by ethanol or biodiesel.

According to an Aug. 14 letter to Florida’s licensed PSSCs, the survey is intended to “gather information and evaluate the potential for using the Inland Protection Trust Fund to respond to the damage or potential damage to underground storage tank systems by ethanol or biodiesel and the costs associated with such damage.” DEP will use the survey results to prepare a comprehensive evaluation and report for the legislature.

If any TulsaLetter readers are aware of other states engaged in similar analyses, please email Rick Long at rlong@pei.org.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Aug. 23 affirmed a 2015 federal district court approval of settlements totaling $24.5 million in multistate litigation alleging that various fuel marketers overcharged for so-called “hot fuel.” Defendants in the case included BP, Costco, Chevron Corp., Citgo, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, Sinclair, Sunoco and Valero.

The plaintiffs had contended that the defendants were overcharging consumers during the summer by selling fuel that, as a result of heat-induced expansion, provided less energy than fuel dispensed during cooler seasons. Under terms of the settlements, most of the money will go toward the defendants’ costs to convert to automatic temperature compensating (ATC) dispensers in certain locations.

The 10th Circuit opinion may well accelerate adoption of ATC dispensing equipment by other marketers. However, a voluntary settlement does not constitute a precedent that will obligate states to require ATC dispensers. Indeed, the 10th Circuit specifically noted in its opinion that “the settlements don't actually change the law” and “policy decisions about whether to allow or require ATC remain with state policy makers.”

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new Form I-9. This form is used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of individuals hired to work in the U.S. All employers must obtain a properly completed Form I-9 for each such employee. The new Form I-9, which has a revision date of 07/17/17 N, changes the list of acceptable identification documents and clarifies other instructions.

Beginning Sept. 18, employers are required to use the revised Form I-9 for all new hires. Learn more and download the new form at www.uscis.gov/i-9

The Acterra Group
named Tad Cooper president and chief operating officer. He will be responsible for marketing, sales, commercial development and all Acterra Group operating divisions. Terry Cooper will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of the company.
BJM Pumps hired Ted Owen as applications engineer. Owen studied marine engineering at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and mechanical engineering at the University of New Haven.
Continental ContiTech is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Marysville, Ohio, plant, the company’s primary North American manufacturing facility for conveyor belting products.
The 375,000-square-foot facility employs 292 workers.

Jarvis Lighting
appointed East Coast Associates to represent its product line in several northeastern states.
Samson Corp. selected Bachman Associates to represent the company in Southern California, Automotive Industrial Associates in New England and the Heartland Group in Oklahoma.
Universal Valve Co. appointed Lucas Ford Associates Inc. its exclusive sales representative to petroleum equipment distributors in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and middle Tennessee.

“The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help clean up contamination from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks.”—PennEnergy, Aug. 24, 2017
“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it awarded a total of $1.1 million in two-year grant funding for 2016-2018 to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to protect underground sources of drinking water from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks.”—Industrial WaterWorld, Aug. 17, 2017
“Korean automaker Hyundai unveiled a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered sport-utility vehicle in a sign that automakers aren't giving up on the zero-emissions technology despite surging investments in competing electric cars. … The new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has a range of about 360 miles per fill-up. It will be sold in certain markets in Korea, North America, Europe and possibly China.”—USA Today, Aug. 18, 2017
“[I]n the U.K., charging stations may soon be more numerous than conventional gas stations. Nissan said today it predicts we’ll see that happen by the summer of 2020. But while it’s partly due to the increase in electric charging stations, it’s also the result of a rapid decline in gas stations.”—MotorTrend, Aug. 15, 2017

Charles (Chuck) A. Frey Sr., retired CEO of Highland Tank & Manufacturing Co., died Aug. 21. Chuck helped develop the sti-P3 tank, the first cathodically protected underground storage tank. In 1990, he received the Steel Tank Institute Hall of Fame Award. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Kathryn Jacob Frey; five children: Mary R. Frey, Charles A. Frey Jr., Richard P. Frey, D.O., Robert J. Frey and Mark A. Frey; brothers Bernard and Thomas; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


  • Urgent Technology, Chicago, Illinois (aff)
  • Compania Armenteros, Naco, Dominican Republic (S&C)
  • Christopher David, Jaco Oil Co., Bakersfield, California (O&E)
  • Steven Bain, Midwest Mobil, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (O&E)


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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.