March 4, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 5

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak likely will affect your business in one way or another. You need to be aware of the threat the virus poses to your organization, your employees and your customers. You do not, however, need to panic.

The internet is rife with coronavirus misinformation and rumors. Despite the hysteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the infection risk in the U.S. remains low. Healthy children and adults who become infected most often suffer only relatively mild symptoms. The elderly and those with underlying medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems) are at greater danger.

Although fear is unfounded, complacency could be dangerous. The spread and severity of the virus might change rapidly. So, remain vigilant and well informed.

The PEI staff has been studying the facts, comparing notes with other trade associations, and analyzing potential supply chain disruptions in our industry. On Monday, we also participated in a White House-sponsored call for trade association and business leaders.

As a first step for our members, today PEI launched a Coronavirus Resource Center on the PEI website. The page provides links to statistics, tools and recommendations from governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Homeland Security and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Coronavirus Resource Center will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. So, bookmark the page and check back regularly.

PEI also today added a coronavirus session to the upcoming 2020 Purchasing & Inventory Conference. (See news item below for complete session and conference details.)

Business Planning
Deciding how to respond to the coronavirus threat is difficult. There are so many unknowns: how quickly and where the virus will spread, the size and composition of your workforce, the type of work you do, how your customers are affected.

In the past few weeks, global consulting companies have released sophisticated coronavirus reports with industry-by-industry summaries, helpful checklists and scenario-based contingency planning ideas. One of the best is from McKinsey & Company. Download it from the PEI Coronavirus Resource Center.

For most PEI members, however, supply chain analysis and employee health are the place to start.

PEI Launches Coronavirus Resource Center

USDA Announces E15, Biodiesel Infrastructure Grants

PEI Safety Videos in Spanish

PEI Foundation Scholarship Applications Due March 31

Coronavirus Session Added, Early Bird Extended for P&I Conference





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Supply Chain Disruptions
A flash poll of PEI manufacturer members this week shows that, so far, the fuel handling equipment industry has avoided major supply chain disruptions: 53% of the respondents reported no disruptions in the delivery of parts, components and materials; another 37% reported only minor disruptions. One member that relies on Chinese components noted that its China suppliers, which briefly had shut down, are coming back online.

In Monday’s White House call, DOT officials emphasized that even as they seek to protect U.S. citizens, they also are committed to mitigating economic loss. For example, the China travel restrictions are limited to commercial and private passenger flights. Cargo flights were exempted to keep Chinese goods flowing into the U.S.

PEI will continue to monitor the industry’s supply chain. 

Employee Health and Safety
To protect your employees, you might need to change employee policies, work practices and workplaces. You also may need to change your personal patterns to set a good example for your employees. Questions to ask and actions to consider include:

●    Travel. Is every business trip necessary? Could some be delayed or replaced by teleconferences? Do you have a policy for employees who are uncomfortable traveling at all or to particular destinations? Companies with a multinational presence should heed all State Department travel advisories and warnings. Have international travelers sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that provides country-specific information to facilitate informed travel decisions.

●    Remote Working Arrangements. The coronavirus incubation period appears to be 14 days, with transmission possible even before symptoms appear. If an employee is exposed to or infected with the virus, you might need to enforce short-term quarantines. Will your IT systems and work processes accommodate the needs of workers who suddenly are required to work remotely?

●    Workspace Adjustments. The coronavirus typically is transmitted by sneezes and coughs. The CDC pegs the airborne danger area at about 6 feet. Could minor relocation of workstations, desks or supplies help safeguard workers’ health?

●    Cleanliness. Good hygiene reduces the risk of infection. Encourage employees to sneeze or cough only into their sleeves and to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently. Provide additional hand sanitizer stations throughout your facility. Make sure all workers — including the boss — know if they are sick, they should stay home. And regularly clean work surfaces, doorknobs, hand tools and equipment. 

In the coming days, the nation and our industry will learn more about the scope of this threat. For now, be informed, be cautious, guard your supply chain and take care of your employees.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will open up $100 million in competitive grants to expand the sale and use of higher-blend renewable fuels. The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is designed to increase the sales and use of E15 and B20 (or higher) blends at gas stations, convenience stores, hypermarkets and fleet fueling facilities. Grants may be used for sales incentives or to offset costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure. Although program details will be released mid-spring, a general overview of application requirements may be found here.

PEI has released four safety videos in Spanish. Produced as part of PEI’s Latin America initiative, the videos also are suitable for Spanish-speaking technicians and construction crews in the U.S. The roughly two-minute presentations are available at no charge in the Safety section of PEI’s YouTube channel:

  • Barricando el Lugar de Trabajo (Barricading the Worksite)
  • Cambio de Filtros (Changing Filters)
  • Seguridad en la Explanada (Safety in the Forecourt)
  • Consejos de Seguridad del Vehículo (Vehicle Safety Tips)

For more on PEI’s Latin America initiative or other Spanish-language PEI resources, email Liliana Cruz at

The deadline for eligible dependents of full-time PEI member company employees to apply for PEI Foundation Scholarships is March 31.

Each applicant must plan to enroll as a full-time freshman for the 2020-2021 academic year at an accredited four-year college or university. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, character, need and intent to contribute to the future of the fuel and fluid handling equipment industry.

To download the scholarship guidelines and application, visit

PEI has added a special session on “Smart Purchasing Decisions in a Coronavirus World” to the schedule at the 2020 PEI Purchasing & Inventory Managers Conference, April 1-3 in San Antonio. To assist purchasing and inventory professionals who have not yet registered, the early bird registration deadline also has been extended through March 13.

The timely coronavirus addition enhances an already strong program of general sessions, networking and roundtable discussions, including:

  • Freight & Shipping Management
  • Inventory Management Technology
  • Service Vehicle Inventory Replenishment
  • Managing the Customer
  • Parts Department Success
  • Inventory Hidden Costs & Value

Early bird registration is $325 for PEI members and $595 for nonmembers. Beginning March 14, the fee will increase to $425 for members and $745 for nonmembers. Attendees who book rooms at the conference hotel by March 20 will receive PEI’s discounted rate of $150 per night.

“Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved two pilot projects
that would give $500,000 in incentives toward 120 electric vehicle [EV] charging stations for consumers throughout the state.” — Bangor Daily News, Feb. 25
“As the fueling industry pushes to upgrade pumps to EMV standards ahead of the October 2020 liability shift, Shell has provided its own progress report: More than 1,000 locations in 44 states — out of its approximately 13,000 branded sites in the United States — are outdoor EMV compliant.” — CSP, Feb. 28, 2020
“Takoma Park, the liberal enclave just outside Washington known as the ‘Berkeley of the East,’ is debating whether to outlaw gas stoves, leaf blowers and water heaters. ... The proposal, which was first raised in a new climate resolution, would ban all gas appliances, close fossil fuel pipelines, and move gas stations outside city limits by 2045. The cost to the average homeowner could reach $25,000, officials wrote.” — Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2020
“Minnesota is one step closer to becoming the first state to have an E15 mandate. Minnesota Corn Growers chairman Brian Thalmann, who farms near Plato, says the state was also the first in the nation to put E10 in place as the standard fuel. …  ‘All indications are (lawmakers) see this as a bipartisan issue that they could actually pass this year, so we are cautiously optimistic.’” — Brownfield Ag News for America, Feb. 26, 2020

Andy Jackson Ellard
, 59, died Feb. 28. Ellard had been an employee of Barber Petroleum Equipment Co., Albany, Georgia, for more than 20 years. Survivors include: daughter Rebecca (Andrew) Parda; son Andrew; two brothers, George (Laurie) and Craig (Lori) Ellard; and nieces Brooke and Lauren.

D&H United Fueling Solutions
announced that KLH Capital, a private equity firm focusing on specialty services and value-added distribution, made an investment in the company. The funding will provide D&H United with resources for expansion and growth.
Gilbarco Veeder-Root (GVR) signed an agreement to invest in Driivz, a cloud-based software platform supporting EV service providers with operations management, energy optimization, billing and roaming capabilities, and driver self-service apps.
McCon Building and Petroleum Services Inc. hired Wassie Lind as a construction project manager under the company’s contract with 7-Eleven. Lind previously worked with the JF Petroleum Group (formerly Jones & Frank).
Pneumercator named Renosa Corp. its manufacturer representative for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Established in 1989, Renosa Corp. specializes in equipment for the power generation and fuel management industries.

Illinois affiliate. Turtle Wax Pro, 350 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 300, Park Ridge, IL 60068, applied for affiliate division membership. Sara Box is the marketing assistant for the company, which was established in 2013. Turtle Wax Pro manufactures chemicals for the petroleum equipment and car wash industries. Sponsored for PEI membership by Carol Schram, PECO Carwash Systems, Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Texas technology company. Additech Inc., 13000 Executive Drive, Sugar Land, TX, 77478 has applied for affiliate division membership. Stephen Miller is president of the company, which was established in 2004. Additech designs fuel additive distribution systems for dispensers. Sponsored for PEI membership by Martin Deblois, BGIS, North York, Ontario, Canada.

California contractor. PBA Construction Inc., 23215 Temescal Canyon Road, Ste. B, Corona, CA, 92883 has applied for service and construction division membership. Jim Koontz is vice president for the firm, which was established in 2003. PBA Construction performs electrical services, maintenance, repair and service station construction. Sponsored for PEI membership by Glen Corkill, Source North America, Addison, Illinois.


  • Commercial Fuel Systems, Magnolia, Texas (service and construction)
  • Wrapcovers, Phoenix, Arizona (affiliate)
  • Pressol Schmiergeräte GmbH, Umkirch, Germany (manufacturer)
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The TulsaLetter 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.