Dear PEI Member:
On June 28, 2016,
Volkswagen (VW) agreed to fund a $2.7 billion mitigation trust to reduce
nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution in the United States. NOx is a primary
contributor to harmful ground-level atmospheric ozone.
The $2.7 billion was a relatively small part of the $30
billion or so the auto manufacturer paid to settle claims related to the
company’s fraudulent concealment of excessive emissions in nearly 500,000
diesel vehicles sold between 2008 and 2015. However, the mitigation trust
may have a more lasting impact on the environment and the future of fueling
than all of VW’s other other legal settlements, buybacks and vehicle
Rather than a top-down federally administered program, the
trust fund is being allocated among the states. The terms of the trust
impose remarkably few restrictions on how the states can spend “their”
money. The biggest is that only 15 percent of each state’s fund can be used
on electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Otherwise, each state can
direct its allocation toward its individual needs and priorities.
Two years after the trust was formed, most states are still
working on their mitigation plans, a process that involves extensive
research, drafting and public input. However, here’s a sampling of the
strategies in five of the first states to complete their plans:
Arizona: $53 million. Replacing or repowering large trucks, buses, freight
switchers, ferries/tugs and other vehicles with new diesel, electric or
other alternative fuel technologies.
California: $381 million. Zero-emission trucks and buses, EV charging stations and emission-reducing
technologies at freight facilities, with at least 35 percent of the fund
directed toward low-income or disadvantaged communities disproportionately
impacted by air pollution.
Connecticut: $51 million. Grant awards based on a complicated grid of 16
state-established priorities. At the top of the list: improvements in
light-duty diesel vehicle fleets, off-road diesel vehicles and related
Georgia: $58 million. On-road heavy- and medium-duty trucks, buses, non-road
equipment, locomotives and commercial marine vessels, plus EV charging
equipment in public places, workplaces and multi-unit dwellings.
Ohio: $71 million. Replacement or repowering of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle
fleets, including buses, trucks, switcher locomotives, tugboats, ferries,
and cargo-handling equipment at ports and airports.
Minnesota: $47 million. Five separate grant programs for school buses, heavy-duty vehicles, off-road
equipment, EVs and EV charging equipment, with 60 percent of the
funds going to Minneapolis/St. Paul and 40 percent to the rest of the state.
Volkswagen Diesel Mitigation Trust Update
Missouri Tank Fund Developments
EPA Updates UST Regulation Guidance
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Some of the biggest states—Florida ($152 million);
Pennsylvania ($111 million); Texas ($192 million)—have yet to finalize their
plans. Even so, the plans that have been completed give an early indication
of the ways in which the mitigation funds will be used. The good news? While
highly green states like California will place a premium on EVs and other
zero-emission technologies, most states are focusing on improving, not
replacing internal combustion engine and fueling technologies.
Although U.S. diesel vehicle sales took a hit after the
Volkswagen fiasco (2017 sales in the light-duty category were down 19
percent), the VW mitigation trust fund will not spell the end of diesel. To
the contrary, the fund may actually improve and extend the life of diesel
and other liquid-fueled vehicles, along with the fueling infrastructure
required to power them.
FREE DIESEL FUEL QUALITY WEBINAR
Modern high-pressure diesel engines have a higher sensitivity to fuel
quality issues. This has led to vehicle warranty claims, infrastructure
maintenance issues and new debates about diesel fuel standards.
The Fuels Institute’s Fuel Quality Council is currently
evaluating how best to ensure that diesel fuel quality, engine design and
fueling infrastructure complement each other.
Thanks to PEI’s membership in the Fuels Institute, all PEI
members are invited to participate in a free, 60-minute “Diesel Fuel
Quality” webinar July 24 at 3:00 p.m. EDT/2:00 p.m. CDT. John Eichberger,
executive director of the Fuels Institute, will provide an overview of the
market, the issues and the opportunities in this important area.
To reserve your seat in the webinar, register
MISSOURI EXTENDS, CREATES PLAN TO EVALUATE STATE TANK FUND
The Missouri legislature extended the sunset date for the state’s Petroleum
Storage Tank Insurance Fund (PSTIF) from Dec. 31, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2025. The
legislature also authorized a temporary task force to study the “efficacy,
sustainability and administration of the PSTIF, the availability of private
insurance, the value of spreading risk via the transport load fee,
compliance with federal programs and regulations, and how the PSTIF compares
to other states’ programs.” In related news, the PSTIF Board of Trustees
recently rejected a proposal to increase the annual participation fee for
underground storage tanks (USTs) that are 40 years old or older.
NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES REGULATORY REFORM VETO
Three days after North Carolina governor Roy
Cooper’s June 25 veto of a major regulatory reform bill, the North Carolina
legislature overrode his action. Among many other provisions, the
now-enacted Act to Provide Further Regulatory Relief to the Citizens of
North Carolina allows the testing of all overfill prevention equipment every
three years. North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ)
regulations had required annual testing of some overfill prevention
EPA UPDATES UST REGULATION GUIDANCE
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two important
updates to the
technical compendium that accompanies
the 2015 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations. Both relate to
spill buckets, under-dispenser containment and containment sumps:
Annual walkthrough inspection requirements
for sumps. The update makes clear that the
federal UST rule requiring an annual walkthrough inspection applies to all
operational sump areas, including tank-top and under-dispenser sumps that
are not used for interstitial monitoring or are not fully contained.
However, some annual inspection requirements will not be applicable in those
Low-level hydrostatic containment sump
testing. The federal regulations accept only one
code of practice for hydrostatic containment sump testing, namely the method
in PEI/RP1200: Recommended Practices for the Testing and Verification of
Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment Equipment at UST
Facilities. The PEI/RP1200 test requires the owner or operator to fill
the sump with water to a depth of at least four inches above the sump’s
highest penetration point or sidewall seam. In November 2017, the EPA
outlined a package of requirements for an alternative low-water test method
it considers no less protective of the environment than the RP1200 method.
(See Nov. 28, 2017 TL.)
The latest technical compendium update includes guidance on the procedures
that should be followed for the low-water test, as well as
a sample test compliance form.
EPA SCHEDULES HEARING ON RENEWABLE FUEL VOLUME OBLIGATIONS
The EPA has scheduled a July 18 public hearing in
Ypsilanti, Michigan, on its proposed 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs)
and 2020 biodiesel RVOs. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. Parties
desiring to testify must notify the EPA by today, July 13. Additional
information on the hearing can be found
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR PEI CONVENTION
Through PEI’s Find Red program, members greet and
assist attendees at the 2018 PEI Convention, Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. Find
Red volunteers help the association and the industry by serving an hour or
two in areas such as registration, bus drop-off locations, education
sessions, breakfasts and receptions. All volunteers and their companies are
recognized in the official convention program. For more information or to
sign up, visit our
Find Red page or contact Teresa
TESLA FEDERAL TAX CREDITS FALL
Tesla has confirmed the sale of its 200,000th U.S. vehicle, making the
company the first EV manufacturer to hit that mark. By law, the $7,500
federal income tax credit for purchasers of a given EV manufacturer’s
vehicles begins to phase out when the manufacturer reaches 200,000 U.S.
sales. As a result, the $7,500 tax credit for Tesla purchasers will drop to
$3,750 beginning Jan. 1, 2019, and to $1,875 on July 1, 2019.
PEI MEMBER NEWS
Ascentium Capital opened a new office in Scottsdale, Arizona. The new
location is the company’s seventh sales office. Other locations are in
California, Michigan (2), New Hampshire, New Jersey and Texas.
Growth Energy named Jennifer Morris vice president of communications
and public affairs. She will oversee Growth Energy’s messaging initiatives
in support of biofuel producers and supporters across the U.S.
LSI Industries announced that Ron Newbold, president of LSI Lighting,
left the company for personal reasons. Crawford Lipsey, who has been chief
operating officer, assumed direct responsibility for the Lighting leadership
Lucas Ford Associates hired Chris Baird as an associate responsible
for petroleum, c-store, automotive and quick-service restaurant products in
the Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina markets.
Stantec named William (Bill) Birney a senior principal and director
of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects. Birney has 29
years of experience in the power generation and heavy industrial sectors.
Tanknology is celebrating its 30th year of providing environmental
compliance testing and inspection services. The company launched the
celebration by unveiling a
commemorative website and a new
Verifone is being acquired by an investor group led by private equity
firm Francisco Partners. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter
of 2018. Upon closing, Michael Pulli will succeed Paul Galant as CEO.
“2018 is on track for the best GDP growth since 2015. The unemployment
rate is at its lowest level since 2000. … At nine years and counting, it now
ranks as the second-longest stretch without a recession of modern
times...still short of the 10-year expansion of the roaring 1990s, which it
will surpass next year.”—The Kiplinger Letter, June 8, 2018
“By 2022, 35% of all workers will be over 50, versus just 25% of the
workforce back in 2002. By 2030, 20% of all Americans will be 65 or
older...the age usually associated with retirement.”—The Kiplinger Letter,
May 25, 2018
“BMW...has awarded a contract worth just over a billion euros ($1.16
billion) to China’s lithium battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology
Ltd ..., the German carmaker said on Thursday. The deal will allow
China’s biggest lithium battery maker to build a factory to produce cells
for electric cars in Europe, BMW spokesman Glenn Schmidt said.”—Reuters,
June 28, 2018
Betty Moore, 84, died July 1. She and her husband
Banks Moore purchased the Fresno, California-based distributor known today
as Banks & Co. in 1979. Betty served as the company’s bookkeeper
until her retirement in 2003. She is survived by husband Banks; sister Wanda
Marr; children Bill and Linda Moore, Susan and Brad Avery, John and Patti
Moore; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Bolivian manufacturer. PetroBox, Av. Principal y
Calle 7 - Edif Jorori Norte - 1er Piso, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia,
has applied for manufacturer division membership. German Pablo Gentile is
CEO of the company, which was established in 1995. PetroBox manufactures
fleet management systems, inventory management systems and tank monitors,
which are sold through distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Jesus
Ildemarco Cogley Quintero, Petrocsa, Veraguas, Panama.