March 20, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 6
Dear PEI Member:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for individuals, families and businesses around the world. It also has prompted lots of calls and emails to PEI headquarters. These four questions seem to be most on our members’ minds:
“How deeply is our industry being affected by the coronavirus outbreak?”
Next week, PEI will publish the detailed survey findings, but here’s a glimpse at some key PEI data points:
Be watching for the full report next week.
by e-mail to the editor, Rick Long at email@example.com
“Will we be considered an ‘essential business’ if our state shuts down
commercial activities to prevent the spread of the virus?”
During natural disasters, PEI distributors and contractors typically are recognized as essential businesses because of their role in bringing gas stations, convenience stores and commercial fueling facilities back online.
PEI members are just as important during the COVID-19 crisis. Reliable fueling systems keep emergency vehicles on the road, critical supply chains functioning and families fed.
During the past week, states and localities have begun restricting normal commercial activities to slow the spread of the virus. The definition of what is and isn't an essential business varies from state to state. To bring some order to this chaos, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, issued advisory guidance March 19 to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental authorities identify and prioritize critical infrastructure sectors and workers. You can find the guidance document here.
The CISA identifies three crucial infrastructure sectors that include petroleum equipment distributors and contractors:
As an additional tool to help our members make their case, PEI has prepared a letter explaining the essential role of distributors and contractors. Feel free to print and share this letter with your governmental authorities. Just click here.3. “Is there any chance state underground storage tank (UST) regulatory deadlines and/or the October EMV liability shift will be delayed?”
Colorado announced March 18 that its regulated tank owners and operators will receive a 30-day extension on March and April compliance deadlines. One day later, the California Water Resources Control Board issued recommended procedures for owners and operators in that state who cannot meet regulatory requirements because of shelter-in-place orders.
We expect additional states to take similar steps. Check with your local regulatory authorities for developments that affect your business.
As for EMV, the March 18 newsletter of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) noted that SIGMA and other retail fuel marketing associations are drafting a letter to Visa and Mastercard “requesting a delay in the October liability shift in order to give people affected by those delays more time to make the change.” PEI will monitor and keep you informed of the card issuers’ response.4. “Does the new federal paid-leave law apply to us?”
On Wednesday night, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Consult your legal, human resource and financial advisors for the full details. Basically, however, the law creates two expensive mandates for employers with 500 or fewer employees.
First, the act amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to create a new “public health emergency leave” requirement. Employees who are unable to work (on premises or remotely) because they must care for a child whose school is closed will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave. The first two weeks can be unpaid or paid via other employee benefits (personal time off, vacation, company-provided sick leave, etc.). However, the company must provide 10 additional paid weeks at two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, up to maximums of $200 per day and $10,000 total.
Second, the law provides up to 80 hours of “emergency paid leave” for employees who are unable to work (on premises or remotely) because:
For the first three bullet points, the leave is at the employee’s full pay rate. For the second two bullets, the employee receives two-thirds of his or her regular pay.
The Department of Labor (DOL) may exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees if it determines the leave payments would jeopardize the business’ viability. Employers that make the required leave payments will receive tax credits against their FICA (Social Security and Medicare) obligations.
Because the “pay-now-get-a-tax-credit-later” system will create cash flow problems for many companies, the U.S. Senate is working on additional small business relief legislation.
EXTENDS FORECOURT FRAUD PROTECTION
SENATE WAREHOUSE AND DISTRIBUTION CAUCUS FORMS
Each applicant must be an eligible dependent of a full-time PEI member company employee and plan to enroll as a full-time freshman 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.
Please share this opportunity with employees in your organization who might not subscribe to the TulsaLetter.
To download the scholarship guidelines and application, visit www.pei.org/foundation.
Minnesota manufacturer. Resource Data Management,
9441 Science Center Drive, New Hope, MN 55428, applied for manufacturer
division membership. Peter Snow is business development manager of the
company, which was established in 2000. Resource Data Management
manufactures IT-based controls and monitoring systems for HVAC, lighting,
refrigeration, tanks and car washes, which are sold primarily through
distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Tony Thornton, Carolina
Products Inc. (CPI), Charlotte, North Carolina.
Louisiana service provider.
Mandatory Fuel Management, 8431 Airlines Hwy #101, Baton
Rouge, LA 70815, applied for service and construction division membership.
David Tiede is president of the business, which was established in 2017.
Mandatory Fuel Management performs fuel restoration services. Sponsored for
PEI membership by Wendall Stroderd, Tank Wizards Inc., West Melbourne,
MEP Brothers Ltd., 725 Century St., Winnipeg, Manitoba,
R3H0M2, Canada, applied for distributor division membership. Jeff Gural is
general manager of the firm, which was established in 1983. MEP Brothers
Ltd. specializes in hose,
rubber, fittings and spill response equipment, tank truck equipment and LPG
hose assemblies. Sponsored for PEI membership by James Kish,
Continental ContiTech/Veyance Technologies, Fairlawn, Ohio.
Island manufacturer. Beaudreau Sensor Systems, 21
Canal St., Westerly, RI 02891, applied for manufacturer division membership.
Jay Goodman is managing partner of the company, which was established in
2007. Beaudreau Sensor Systems manufactures leak detection sensors for
dispenser and turbine containment sumps, which are sold primarily through
distributors. Sponsored for PEI membership by Buddy Reinhart, A & A Pump
Co., San Antonio, Texas.
Qingdao AOBO-Environment Technology Co. Ltd., Bldg. No. 26,
Tianhe Industrial Park, 252 Yanhe Road, Huangdao District, Qingdao,
266000, China, applied for affiliate division membership. Alina Zhang is the
manager for the company, which was established in 2005. Qingdao AOBO-Environment
Technology Co. Ltd. manufactures water detection oil cleaning products,
emergency pollution prevention solutions and other related products for the
industry. Sponsored for PEI membership by Zhao Miao, Qingdao OKet Instrument
Co., Ltd., Qingdao, China.
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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.