ADDITIONAL LAWSUITS FILED REGARDING EPA’s 2014-2016 RFS RULING
On Wednesday, the American Fuel & Petrochemical
Manufacturers (AFPM) filed a suit over EPA's
rule that set the volumes of biofuels that must
be blended into the transportation fuel supply
for 2014 through 2016. EPA finalized the RFS
2014-2016 rule on December 14, 2015. AFPM’s
petition seeks review of the rule in the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Meanwhile, Monroe Energy LLC (a refinery which
is a subsidiary of Delta Airlines) also filed a
challenge over the recent RFS rule this week.
The Monroe motion was filed in order to
intervene on behalf of the EPA in the ethanol
industry's January 8 lawsuit challenging the
rule, saying that Monroe Energy had a strong
interest in the EPA's ability to reduce the
volumes of renewable fuel that it and other
refiners must use in transportation fuels.
In addition and of interest for petroleum
marketers, Monroe also filed a separate petition
this week for review of a 2010 rule that makes
refiners and importers responsible for
compliance, rather than blenders, stating that
it could no longer be defended in light of the
final rule published in December.
HOUSE PASSES MENU LABELING LEGISLATION
Today, the House
passed via a 266-144 bipartisan vote, the
“Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.” The
bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps.
Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez
(D-CA), passed the House Energy and Commerce
Committee in November by a vote of 36-12.
This legislation modifies the Menu-Labeling
language in Obamacare to permit retailers to
identify a single primary menu while not having
to include nutrition labeling in other areas of
the store. Furthermore, the bill clarifies that
advertisements and posters do not need to be
labeled and provides flexibility in disclosing
the caloric content for variable menu items that
come in different flavors or varieties, and for
combination meals. Lastly, the bill ensures that
retailers acting in good faith are not penalized
for inadvertent errors in complying with the
rule and stipulates that individual store
locations are not required to have an employee
“certify” that the establishment has taken
reasonable steps to comply with the
This legislation is important because it gives
retailers the flexibility they need to comply
with the Menu-Labeling regulations. Companion
legislation (S. 2217) introduced in the Senate
by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King
(I-ME) will be voted on in the near future.
A strong thanks to all PMAA members who notified
your representatives and urged their support for
the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.”
CONGRESS QUESTIONS TRANSPARENCY OF OZONE ADVISORY PANEL
Last week, Senator
James Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW),
sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
about EPA’s unwillingness to share public
information regarding the process for selecting
Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)
members, noting that EPA tried to hide its most
recent panel selection from the general public.
Further, that EPA’s handling of appointments is
contrary to transparency requirements under the
Clean Air Act.
The House Science Committee chaired by Rep.
Lamar Smith (R-TX) has charged that CASAC
appointees are essentially reviewing their own
work and The EPA’s Inspector General recently
released a report after conducting an
CASAC exists to provide EPA with independent
expert advice on where to set the national
ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone
and other pollutants, and has repeatedly advised
EPA to lower the ozone standard down to 60
parts-per-billion (ppb), an impossible standard
that was fought vehemently by PMAA and almost
all industry groups.
To read the full text of the letter, click
HOS RELIEF PROVISION REMAINS IN FAA BILL
PMAA is supporting language in the
FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 4441) which would preempt HOS requirements in 22
states for meal and rest breaks for commercial truck drivers. The provision,
championed by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), stems from a 2014 federal appeals court
decision that overturned a California court's opinion that a 1994 FAA law
preempted states' rights to enforce their own meal and rest break laws. Then,
last May a Supreme Court ruling upheld a California statute requiring a paid
10-minute rest break every four hours and a paid 30-minute meal period every
five hours for truck drivers.
Section 611 of H.R. 4441 seeks to clarify the preemption provision of the FAA
Authorization Act of 1994 to restore the goals Congress intended when it sought
national uniformity for motor carriers in the transportation of property.
Unfortunately, House liberals are strongly opposing the provision and may hold
up the FAA Authorization unless the language is removed.
SENATE ENERGY LEGISLATION REMAINS STALLED
The Senate’s hopes for getting an
energy bill done in the near future are fading, as Senate Republicans and
Democrats have been unable to negotiate a deal on the Flint, Michigan water
crisis. However, talks will continue over next week’s recess to find a solution.
The biggest provision in S. 2012 would require the Department of Energy to
approve or deny the use and operation of an LNG export facility no later than 45
days after an environmental review conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC). It would also require the Department of Energy to gather and
distribute data on the destinations of LNG exports.
One amendment that failed would have expedited certain natural gas gathering
lines on Federal land and Indian land. Another amendment that has been filed,
but unlikely to see the light of day, is an amendment by Senator Barrasso (R-WY)
which would authorize the construction and use of natural gas pipelines in
national parks. PMAA continues to support fuel neutral pipeline legislation and
because the amendment does not include oil pipelines, PMAA cannot support the
President Obama has stated that while he supports many of the provisions in the
bill, he has serious concerns with others. He has yet to issue a veto threat.
PMAA will continue to closely monitor the legislation. The House approved its
own energy bill, H.R. 8, in early December by a vote of 249-174.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES FINAL BUDGET PROPOSAL
week, the Obama Administration released its FY 2017
budget proposal totaling $4.1 trillion and includes
$2.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years.
Business tax changes would be used to raise $850
billion. A proposed financial transaction “Wall
Street” fee is projected to generate $111 billion by
imposing a seven basis point fee on liabilities of
firms with assets of more than $50 billion. Most of
Obama's budget request is already “dead on arrival”
on Capitol Hill, particularly his call for a barrel
fee/gasoline tax which is expected to raise gasoline
prices by more than 25 cents a gallon.
Now that he is near the end of his term and with a
plan that has zero chance of passing Congress,
President Obama included a $10.25 tax on every
barrel of oil in his budget request which would pay
for billions in investment on his green
transportation projects. The tax would include a
15-percent set-aside for aid to low-income families
whose heating bills would increase because of the
resulting increase in fuel prices. Heating oil also
would see a temporary exemption from the tax in an
effort to minimize in the short term its impact on
lower-income households. In addition, the set-aside
could be used for switching from home heating oil to
natural gas. Unfortunately, President Obama’s
proposal is short sided especially because the
Administration fails to acknowledge the recent
advancements made by the heating oil industry which
is now cleaner and cheaper than natural gas.
Other areas of interest to petroleum marketers
include $94.3 million for the Leaking Underground
Storage Tank (LUST) program, $7.6 million for the
Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR) and
$3.19 billion for the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Northeast Home
Heating Oil Reserve provides an emergency supply of
home heating oil for the Northeast States during
times of inventory shortages and significant threats
to immediate supply. Included in the funding request
is more than $280 million for a DOE program that
aims to increase the adoption of plug-in electric
vehicles. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) would receive an $80 million boost to $330
million which is $10 million more than last year’s
budget request. Finally, Obama proposes spending $3
billion a year on the new National Surface
Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau, an
office created under last year’s transportation law.
Obama is requesting $43.3 billion for highways, a
two percent bump over FY16 spending which aligns
with the limit set in December’s highway bill.
The President’s FY 2017 funding request has already
been dismissed by the Republican-led Congress as
leaders of the House and Senate budget panels have
said they will not give the budget proposal a
hearing. They may however allow for a vote on the
budget to be followed by a vote on a Republican
PMAA has serious concerns with the Obama budget
proposal and will continue to monitor the latest
developments on Capitol Hill.
PMAA NEW PARTNER SPOTLIGHT INTRODUCING: PATRIOT CAPITAL
Patriot Capital Becomes Platinum PMAA Member
The Officers, Executive Committee, and PMAA staff are pleased to welcome Patriot
Capital as a Platinum Partner. Patriot Capital specializes in providing
equipment financing to jobbers and dealers. Patriot’s programs assist jobbers in
optimizing their capital structure and in capturing and expanding their supply
Patriot was recognized by the PMAA as Best in U.S. for equipment financing.
Patriot finances all brands of equipment for fueling, including underground
storage tanks, gas pumps, point of sale, signage and LED lighting. A division of
State Bank & Trust, Patriot a leader in providing equipment financing, and now
SBA loans, to PMAA members.
For additional information, please
visit or contact
Richard Browne, Vice-President Marketing, at 404.977.1251.
ANNUAL EPCRA TIER II REPORTS DUE BY MARCH 1, 2016
EPA EPCRA Tier II reports must be filed for bulk plants,
marinas and fleet fueling facilities that stored more than
10,000 pounds (approximately 1,626 gallons)
of hazardous chemicals (petroleum fuels) at any single
time during the 2015 calendar year. EPCRA reports must be
filed with local or state emergency response authorities
no later than March 1, 2016
addition, retail facilities with a storage capacity
greater than 75,000 gallons of gasoline and/or 100,000
gallons or more of diesel fuel must also file EPCRA
reports. Federal regulations exempt retail fueling
facilities at or below these capacity thresholds from the
annual Tier II inventory reporting. Some states have set
lower reporting thresholds, use unique Tier II reporting
forms or require electronic reporting. Petroleum marketers
should contact their state EPCRA office to verify any
local variances in Tier II reporting requirements.
EPCRA PAPER FORMS AND ELECTRONIC
EPCRA CAS NUMBERS:
- The following CAS
designations (from material safety data sheets) must also
be included on EPCRA Tier II reports;
- Diesel Fuel (CAS 68476-34-6);
- Kerosene (CAS 8008-20-6);
- Fuel Oil (CAS
- Aviation Gasoline (CAS Mixture);
- Jet A (CAS Mixture);
- JP 8 (CAS Mixture).
EPCRA NAICS CODE:
- Standard Industrial
Classification (SIC) codes can no longer be used to
describe facilities on EPCRA Tier II reports. Instead,
North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)
codes must be used. Applicable NAICS codes for the
petroleum marketing industry include:
- Petroleum Bulk plants - NAICS 424710;
- Heating Oil
Dealers - NAICS 454311;
- Retail Gasoline Stations
with Convenience Stores - NAICS 447110;
Gasoline Stations without Convenience Stores - NAICS
- Cardlock Sites – NAICS 447190
PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO FILE EPCRA TIER II:
- The EPA
fine for violating EPCRA Tier II reporting is $37,500 per
day, per violation. EPA checks for filing of EPCA Tier II
reports during routine compliance audits or after a
release has occurred.
RECENT ADDITIONS TO TIER II
- EPCRA Tier II forms now ask whether the
facility is subject to emergency planning under Section
302 of EPCRA (Toxic Release Inventory or TRI) or the
chemical accident prevention requirements under 112r of
the Clean Air Act (Risk Management Program or RMP). For
small bulk plant operators, the answer to these questions
is almost always “NO”. Typically, small petroleum bulk
plants operated by petroleum marketers located downstream
of the terminal rack are NOT subject to TRI or RMP. While
these small bulk plants must comply with Spill prevention
Control and Countermeasure (SPCC), this is not the same as
TRI or RMP.
PMAA Contact Mark S. Morgan, Regulatory Counsel:
PMAA PARTNER SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: FEDERATED INSURANCE
Federated Insurance Employment Practices
Network HR Question of the Month
Insurance’s HR Question of the Month focuses on employment-related practices
liability issues. January’s topic is: Can you ask for a waiver for workers’
compensation claims? Please click
read the response.
For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact
your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive
Jerry Leemkuil at 800.533.0472.
JOIN MERIDIAN ASSOCIATES, INC. FOR THEIR 2016 CEO EXCHANGE APRIL 20-21
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For more information on CEO Exchange 2016, please
or call 800-728-9005 for immediate assistance. To learn how Meridian can help
you, please contact PMAA’s Platinum Partner, Meridian Associates, Inc., at
800.728.9008 or visit.
PMAA MEMBER SERVICES SPOTLIGHT FEATURING: AMERASSIST A/R SOLUTIONS
5 Steps to Shorten Your Cash Flow Conversion
cash flow gap occurs when your cash inflows and
cash outflows don't keep pace with each other,
leaving your business short of cash. This is an
especially common problem for small businesses,
where copious cash outflows may repeatedly
precede cash inflows. All kinds of expenses,
from purchasing materials necessary to do the
work through licensing or permit fees, may have
to be paid out before your small business gets
paid for the work completed.
For steps to shorten your cash flow conversion
period, please read the article in its entirety
AmerAssist is one of the most experienced
collection organizations in the nation, serving
credit grantors in a broad range of industries
and can help you to recover slow-pay and no-pay
accounts and to maintain a healthy cash flow.
Additionally, PMAA members are eligible for
exclusive discounts. For more information,
visit or email PMAA’s Liaison
or by phone at 904.825.1563.