March 20, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 6

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In This Issue

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:

1. “How deeply is our industry being affected by the coronavirus outbreak?”
This week, PEI and other major trade associations partnered with respected research organization Industry Insights on a quick-turn COVID-19 Impact & Action Survey. Some 196 PEI member companies (and 2,566 other businesses) returned their questionnaires.

Next week, PEI will publish the detailed survey findings, but here’s a glimpse at some key PEI data points: 

  • 88.2% of participating members expect COVID-19 to negatively affect their revenue this year.
  • Only 5.6% expect the impact on day-to-day operations will last longer than six months.
  • 91.3% have implemented new actions, policies or practices in response to the crisis. A sampling of responses shows:
    • 54.1% have adopted new employee distancing safeguards.
    • 53.6% have increased the frequency and scope of facility cleaning.
    • 10.2% are doing cross-training to better handle future employee absences or quarantines.

Be watching for the full report next week.


U.K. Considers E10

BP Offers Forecourt Fraud Protection

PEI Foundation Scholarship Apps Due March 31

EV Briefs






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2. “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:

  • Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them
  • Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure
  • Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers

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:

  • The employee presents COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • The employee is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order;
  • A healthcare provider has recommended isolation or self-quarantine;
  • The employee is caring for a quarantined person;
  • The employee must care for a child whose school is closed because of COVID-19.

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. 

The U.K. Department for Transport opened public discussion March 4 on a proposal to allow the sale of E10. The U.K. currently limits the ethanol content of gasoline to 5%. Under the proposal, E10 would become the U.K.’s standard gasoline grade in 2021. The move is part of the government’s plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The Department for Transport estimates 89% of U.K. gasoline-powered vehicles are E10 compatible. 

BP will extend forecourt fraud coverage to its branded stations for a limited time after the Oct. 1 EMV liability shift. According to the March 9 Oil Express newsletter, BP will cover outdoor counterfeit card fraud for 12 months or until total fraud reaches $10 million, whichever comes first. The move, announced at the recent BP Amoco Marketers Association convention, is designed to give stations more time to upgrade to chip payment card technology.

Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Todd Young (R-IN) and Mike Braun (R-IN), a former wholesale distribution executive, launched the Senate Warehouse and Distribution Caucus. The caucus will explore policy issues for warehouses and distribution centers, including such areas as artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity and the global supply chain. NAW is encouraging other senators to join the caucus and support the $6 trillion wholesale distribution industry.

The deadline to apply for the PEI Foundation’s Charles D. Kemp Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year is March 31.

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

“General Motors, trying to refashion itself as a futuristic company with technology to compete against Tesla, rolled out plans Wednesday for 13 new electric vehicles
during the next five years. … With fewer parts than petroleum-powered vehicles, electric vehicles will be much cheaper and simpler to build, reducing manufacturing costs, GM said. The company plans 19 different battery and electric motor and transmission combinations, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today. The company said a joint venture with Korean battery maker LG Chem will use a low-cobalt chemistry to drive down battery costs to below $100 per kilowatt hour.” — Associated Press, March 4, 2020
“EVgo has flipped the switch on its 800th electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging location, at a Sheetz site in Chantilly, Va. The fast-charging location has four 150-kW charging stations, which can charge an EV battery to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes. It was built in partnership with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as part of the Drive Electric Virginia initiative.” — CSP, March 4, 2020
“Following a year of rapid growth in 2018, in which sales nearly doubled from the previous year, sales of plug-in vehicles in the U.S. declined in 2019, due to lower sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Sales of all-electric vehicles remained steady with a slight increase of about 3,000 more vehicles sold than in 2018. Total plug-in vehicle sales in 2019 were nearly 326,000, or almost 2% of the nearly 17 million vehicles sold that year.” — DOE Vehicle Technologies Office, March 9, 2020

Lucas Ford Associates (LFA)
will represent NOV Fiber Glass Systems/CSI in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida on the following product lines: petroleum, chemical and water USTs; oil/water separators; and petroleum aboveground storage tanks.

Pennsylvania service company.
Bubb’s Petroleum Service LLC, 400 Turkey Path Road, Linden, PA 17744, applied for service and construction division membership. Paul Bubb Jr. is the owner of the firm, which was established in 2017. Bubb’s Petroleum Service LLC offers storage tank and fueling equipment installation and service for service stations and convenience stores. Sponsored for PEI membership by Scott Diltz, Diltz Equipment Sales Inc., Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

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, Florida.

Canadian distributor. 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.

Rhode 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.

Chinese manufacturer. 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.


  • Aptora Corporation, Lenexa, Kansas (affiliate)
  • McCabe & Sons, Inc., Danville, Vermont (manufacturer)
  • NW Contracting, Alden, New York (service and construction)
  • Advanced Petroleum Repair, Cortez, Colorado (service and construction)
  • Brentec Soluciones Tecnologicas SA de CV, Altabrisa, Merida, Mexico (affiliate)
  • Kenosha Consulting, LLC, Pine, Colorado (service and construction)
  • Andrew Creed, Creeds Volumetric Measuring Services In., Belfast, Prince Edward Island, Canada (operations and engineering)
  • Michael Summers, Blarney Castle Oil Co., Bear Lake, Michigan (operations and engineering)
  • Sajidali Saboowala, Truepower Products & Services LLC, Marianna, Florida (operations and engineering)
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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.