August 31, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 17
Dear PEI Member:
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.
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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:
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.
AND FLOOD RESOURCES
EVALUATING DAMAGE TO UST SYSTEMS FROM ETHANOL, 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 email@example.com.
CIRCUIT AFFIRMS $24.5 MILLION ‘HOT FUEL’ SETTLEMENT
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.”
FORM ISSUED FOR U.S. EMPLOYERS
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.
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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.