September 10, 2020 | Vol. 70, No. 18

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In This Issue
Dear PEI Member:

Any history of underground storage tank (UST) system installations in the U.S. since the late 1980s would begin with PEI/RP100: Recommended Practices for Installation of Underground Liquid Storage Systems.

And no one has contributed more to RP100’s continued influence than Leland Freeman. Way back in 1985, when PEI began work on the first edition of RP100, Leland, who was then PEI president, chaired the drafting committee. He continued to serve as PEI Tank Installation Committee chairman until his retirement a few months ago.

The past 35 years have brought more sophisticated installation techniques, new technologies and increased UST regulations. Thanks to Leland, PEI/RP100 has remained an indispensable resource through it all.

During his career, Leland also mentored many of today’s petroleum equipment distribution leaders. PEI asked two such leaders about Leland’s influence.               

John Keller, JF Petroleum Group Southwestern Region vice president, said:

“Leland Freeman and his family welcomed me in 1988 to a small town, a new job and a new beginning for my life. This is not unlike the way he conducted business: welcoming, warm and caring. These attributes — along with his determination — allowed him to build a company, influence the marketplace and help transform the industry. Leland’s desire to prepare customers for change while creating an environment of quality and affordability is what I believe made him successful. These timeless lessons continue to be used by myself and my cohorts who were led by him.”

Thanks, Leland Freeman

Payroll Tax Deferral Guidance

NAW: Hoplin to Succeed Van Dongen

RP100 in Spanish

OSHA Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls

Hoskinson Leaves EPA OUST

Fuels Institute EV Report

2019 California Leak Prevention Report




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Joey Batchelor, Guardian Fueling Technologies president and CEO, told a similar story:

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Leland Freeman for nearly 30 years. I began my industry career working for Leland at his business, Station Equipment & Maintenance. He had a big influence on me both professionally and personally at a point in my life when I needed it most. I’ve always admired him for his integrity, hard work, leadership, and strong commitment to his people and his family. When I told Leland I was leaving his company to buy my own business in Florida, I’ll never forget his words of encouragement and support. I have leaned on him over the years for advice and occasional pep talks as I faced challenges in my own business. I absolutely love the man, and without his influence, am not sure where I would be right now. I will forever be grateful for his mentorship and friendship. Leland’s contributions to PEI and the many people he has touched during his storied career will continue to be part of the bedrock of our industry.”

Leland may no longer be growing a business or guiding the RP100 Committee — but he’s still Leland.

Productive? He recently built a new house on his ranch outside Beeville, Texas. Kind? He’s now devoting more time than ever to his beloved wife Charlotte. And giving? Last week, he told me he wanted to donate more memorabilia to PEI. (In 2015, Leland gave PEI the fully restored 1929 Wayne Model 711 visible pump and beautiful gas pump globes that now decorate our Tulsa headquarters.)

On behalf of the PEI Board of Directors and the association you served so well for so long, thank you, Leland Freeman, for your leadership, your wisdom, your integrity and your heart.

Editor’s Note: My conversation with Leland last Wednesday was the best 30 minutes of my week. And if you talk to him, I bet it will be the best 30 minutes of your week too.

Last week, the IRS issued much-anticipated guidance on President Trump’s Aug. 8 executive memorandum allowing the deferral of certain employee payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. (See Aug. 20, 2020 TulsaLetter.)

The three-page guidance imposes severe burdens and risks on employers, while failing to answer several fundamental questions. See this summary of the terms and gaps in the guidance from consulting firm CliftonLarsonAllen.

Before taking any action, PEI members should review their obligations, rights and options under the presidential memorandum and IRS guidance with their tax advisor.  

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) named Eric Hoplin CEO, effective Oct. 19. Hoplin succeeds Dirk Van Dongen, who will retire in November after 41 years leading the organization.

Hoplin comes to NAW from Wells Fargo & Co., where he is head of external relations. In this role, Hoplin leads a team that drives the company’s reputation and policy priorities. Hoplin previously served as executive director of the Financial Services Roundtable (now BPI), a trade association representing the nation’s largest financial services companies. Before that, he was a lead management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Hoplin has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, an M.B.A. from Augsburg College, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications from St. Olaf College, and a certificate in change management from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. He serves on the boards of the Reagan Ranch and the Trust for the National Mall.

Editor’s Note: As a member of the NAW Board of Directors, I participated in Eric’s interviews and couldn’t be more excited about the skills and vision he will bring to NAW.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dirk Van Dongen has vigorously and successfully served the wholesale distribution industry. Dirk also has been a great personal mentor and friend since I became PEI Executive Vice President in 2017. I’ll deeply miss his candor, insight, advice and stories. Thank you, Dirk, for all you have done for PEI, for the world of wholesale distribution and for me.

PEI/RP100-20: Recommended Practices for Installation of Underground Liquid Storage Systems is now available in Spanish.

PEI Latin America Director Liliana Cruz supervised the translation to ensure PEI/RP100-20esp: Prácticas Recomendadas para la Instalación de Sistemas de Almacenamiento Subterráneo de Líquidos is accurate and understandable for Spanish-speaking professionals in the U.S. and around the world. PEI also thanks Latin America Steering Committee members Luis Barriga of OPW Fueling Components and Jose Gabriel Fonseca Mora of Fommor S.A. for their assistance in the translation and review process.

PEI/RP100-20esp includes the English edition’s recent revisions on fill risers, grounding techniques and drop tubes. (See Aug. 7, 2020 TulsaLetter.)

Single copies of PEI/RP100-20esp are $50 for PEI members and $195 for nonmembers. To learn more or purchase, click here.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designated Sept. 14-18 as a National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. During this week, OSHA encourages companies to conduct fall prevention toolbox talks, discuss job-specific fall hazards or develop fall-related rescue plans. To support the effort, OSHA also has developed a special mini-site with downloadable posters, ladder safety guidance, scaffolding fact sheets and other fall protection resources.

Carolyn Hoskinson resigned as director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) to become director of the EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. The EPA named Mark Barolo, former EPA OUST deputy director, acting director of OUST.

A recent Fuels Institute report, State of Transportation Energy and Vehicle Electrification, confirms that electric vehicles (EVs) are entering the marketplace in great numbers, but the U.S. fleet will have a healthy mix of powertrains for decades. For a short video introduction, click here. Download the full report here.

California released its 2019 UST Leak Prevention Annual Report. The 2019 data, according to Laura Fisher of the State Water Resources Control Board, shows:

  • The state’s owners, operators and Unified Program Agencies (UPAs) are meeting inspection targets.
  • UPA inspection and follow-up continues to drive facility compliance.
  • New regulatory requirements resulted in an increase in some violations.
  • Unauthorized release numbers remain low.
  • Removal of single-walled tanks/piping remains sluggish.

“Shell told OPIS that more than a third of its branded stations — over 5,000 sites — currently accept chip payment cards
at the gas islands, and it has put in place incentives and penalties to make that a network-wide standard. The major said it has warned branded wholesalers that outdoor EMV will be a brand standard effective March 25, 2021, and noncompliant stations may face surcharges. … However, Shell also is offering discounts of $3,000 on new Gilbarco and Wayne dispensers and free upgrades to contactless NFC readers and in-dispenser media components on orders placed by Oct. 1, 2020.” — Oil Express, Aug. 31

“Nikola (NKLA) and GM (GM) are teaming up to take on Tesla’s cybertruck. The electric truck startup announced Tuesday it has selected GM to be its manufacturing partner for its electric pickup truck dubbed the Badger. The Badger will use GM’s widely acclaimed Ultium battery technology. Additionally, Nikola will hand over $2 billion in stock to GM — giving the automaker an 11% stake in the company.” — Yahoo Finance, Sept. 8

Blue1 Energy Equipment
announced the appointment of two new representative agencies. Pieker Piatchek will represent Blue1 in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. S & R Sales will provide representation in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

E.J. Ward Inc. reorganized its business into two new units. SimplyFuel Solutions will provide sales, delivery and support for Ward customers. The unit also will bring new bundled fuel management systems to public and private fleet managers. Nascent Partners will act as a technology incubator and business ideation hub for solutions in transportation and beyond.

Jarvis Lighting retained Five Star Rep Group as its representative in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Leighton O’Brien expanded its Middle East footprint through a licensed service partnership with Tamkeen Industrial & Trading Co. Ltd. Tamkeen Industrial will offer Leighton O’Brien’s precision tank and line testing technology and fuel cleaning solutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Freedom Electronics partnered with Sound Payments to provide its customers with an easy-to-install EMV retrofit solution for automated fuel dispensers in the U.S.

Argentina service company.
Compañía de Servicios Petroleros S.A. (COSEPESA), Carlos Collivadino No. 35, Temperley, Buenos Aires 1834, Argentina, applied for service and construction division membership. Fabián Porco is director of the company, which was established in 2002. Compañía de Servicios Petroleros S.A. is a service and installation company for petroleum equipment. Sponsored for PEI membership by Eduardo Borri, Bertotto Boglione S.A., Córdoba, Argentina.

Guatemalan distributor. SPEGUA, 12 av. 1-46 zona 19, Guatemala, applied for distributor division membership. Jose Ramirez is general manager of the company, which was established in 2013. SPEGUA specializes in distribution, sales, service, installation and repair of equipment for petroleum stations. Sponsored for PEI membership by Wang Li, Zhejiang Jiasong Technology Co., Ltd., Wenzhou, China.


  • Sunshine Electronic Display, St. Joseph, Missouri (service and construction)
  • Glacier Environmental Services Inc., Mukilteo, Washington (service and construction)
  • Worldwide Oil Technology & Energy Equipment Co. (WOTEC), Khartoum, Sudan (distributor)
  • Fuel Services Group L.L.C., Portage, Michigan (service and construction)
  • Stovall Commercial Contractors, Alvarado, Texas (distributor)
  • Kyee Kyee Win, Dendo Trading Co. Ltd, Yangon, Myanmar (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.