PMAA is working closely with the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, Homeland Security, the U.S. EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to mitigate any negative impact of the COVID19 coronavirus on fuel marketers. The talks are a continuation of PMAA’s ongoing emergency preparedness initiative to establish and maintain coordination between marketers and emergency response officials during declarations of emergency to ensure adequate fuel supply is available to consumers. PMAA encourages you to notify PMAA staff of any particular needs or concerns that you have so that we can communicate to the most efficient government employees to obtain the information or the help that you may need.
Company Coronavirus Protocol Template and Driver Guidance
PMAA has been working to address a problem where some replacement drivers have not been allowed to receive on-site training to be carded for specific terminal facilities (which is usually allowed during disasters). In order to obtain terminal on-site training, it is especially important to do these things:
- Notify the terminal in advance so the request can be run up the chain for approval.
- Justify why this is needed, for example, the driver who normally pulls from the terminal is sick.
- Make certain the facility knows the replacement driver is an experienced driver who has loaded fuel at multiple other terminals or xx number of years.
Finally, if there are other concerns from terminal operators, just a reminder to Click here for a downloaded template for the PMAA document for owners and managers to use in creating company protocols regarding COVID-19 to use internally and with business partners. In particular, the template can also be used with terminal operators who require such documentation in support of their own expanded protocols to protect their employees.
PMAA and the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) also created a document that has overlap with much of the company template document for company owners and managers. However, this document is for a different audience, it is for truck drivers specifically. Based on feedback from PMAA members and from FEMA, drivers are in need of clear guidance on how they should operate.
State and Local Orders
- National Governors Association Coronavirus Response Webpage This section is updated regularly
- Comprehensive List of State and Local Orders This section is updated regularly
EPA Enforcement Discretion and Waivers
3/27/20 – The U.S. EPA issued a temporary nationwide waiver of both the RFG and summertime RVP blend requirements. The waiver moves the RVP and RFG transition deadline for refiners and terminal operators to May 20, 2020. The waiver is important to petroleum marketers because it will enable them to turnover gasoline tanks to summertime RVP and RFG in a more realistic time frame given the precipitous drop in consumer demand since the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to read the PMAA Regulatory Report.
3/27/20 – The U.S. EPA issued general enforcement discretion policy designed to address difficulties regulated parties may have maintaining certain routine compliance requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the U.S. EPA will not seek civil penalties for the following: Routine Monitoring and Reporting; Integrity Testing; Sampling; Lab analysis, Training and Certification.
Click here for the EPA Enforcement Discretion Regulatory Alert
Click here for state implementation of EPA enforcement discretion Regulatory Alert
Click here for template requesting state UST enforcement discretion State Request Letter Template
Click here for the U.S. EPA Enforcement Discretion Policy
The FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) is activated and being used to post incident updates as part of the Interagency Crisis Action Task Force supporting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Lead Federal Agency for our nation’s response to COVID-19. Emergency Support Function #14 – Cross Sector Business & Infrastructure is also activated at the national level with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) coordinating.
If PMAA members want to join the National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) Cross Sector Coordination Call contact Sherri Stone at email@example.com.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Waivers and Emergency Declarations
6/9/20 – US DOT COVID-19 Guidance for Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a waiver extending from 30 days to 90 days (through September 30, 2020), the period under which drivers qualify for pre-employment testing exception under FMCSA regulations. This is good news for petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers who furloughed drivers due to the COVID-19 emergency because it will reduce or eliminate altogether the number of pre-employment drug tests required for returning drivers.
6/26/20 – Automatic Extension of Expiring CDLs, CLPs and Medical Certificates
FMCSA waiver allows state licensing agencies to automatically extend expiring CDL licenses, CDL learners permits and driver medical certificates. This waiver is effective March 20, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
This is updated regularly – FMCSA Emergency Declaration Website
FMCSA for webpage for all emergency declarations and waivers related to the coronavirus
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The DHS guidance is important to petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers because it contains recommendations for state governors to follow when deciding which businesses can stay open and operating during quarantines and other limitations of movement imposed to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
Specifically, the DHS at PMAA’s request included the Petroleum Industry category in the guidance to include workers involved in the downstream distribution of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating fuels and jet fuels as well as HVAC technicians for residential and commercial heating systems. These specific listings clarify that petroleum marketers and heating fuel businesses are essential operations that need to remain open and operating despite the imposition of any federal, state or local emergency lockdown or quarantine orders.
3/28/20 – PMAA has also developed two essential employee identification templates for petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers to use if stopped by enforcement authorities in a locked down or restricted area. Click on the following links to download the templates:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued two letters designed to ensure petroleum marketers can obtain and deliver fuel for emergency generators and responders conducting restoration and repair of downed communication and power lines that are critical to management of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Petroleum marketers supplying fuel for these qualifying purposes should maintain a copy of the letters in the cab of each truck and make available to suppliers, law enforcement authorities and emergency responders as needed. The letters are valid from March 16 through May 28.
TWIC Enrollment Centers – If applicants are planning to visit an TWIC enrollment center, please click here to determine if an enrollment center is open and for its hours of operation.
4/3/20 – TSA Allows States to Automatically Renew Driver Hazmat Endorsements for 180 Days
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that states may extend expiring commercial driver’s license (CDL) hazardous material endorsements (HME) for up to four months. The TSA action is important to petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers because it ensures CDL drivers with expiring HMEs can maintain their licensure without interruption during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to view the full PMAA Regulatory Report.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The United States Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit is available to marketers who continued to pay employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to view the full PMAA Regulatory Report.
The IRS has established a webpage to include all the available tax-related information. This page will be updated as more information is available.
Department of Labor (DOL)
DOL issued its first set of summaries and guidance on the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA) aka “Phase 2” which the agency has been tasked with implementing. Please note that the effective date is April 1 and DOL has published the model notice that employers will be required to post to advise employees of their rights under the FFCRA. Click here to view the poster.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):
- Employee Guide
- Employer Guide
- FFCRA Q&A
- Click here for the Small Business Legislative Council’s analysis of FFCRA
- To view SBLC’s slides and the recording from its Small Business and COVID-19 webinar, please click here User: COVID19 Password: Sars-cov-2
Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced an extension of the agency’s March 24, 2020 enforcement discretion policy (waiver) regarding reoccurring hazardous material training and testing requirements for CDL drivers. While the waiver is in effect, PHMSA will take no enforcement action against any motor carrier or offeror who is unable to provide reoccurring hazardous material training and testing that all CDL HAZMAT drivers (and all HAZMAT employees) must undergo every three years. The original enforcement waiver expired on June 24, 2020. PHMSA’s announcement this week extends the waiver through October 31, 2020. Click here for the full PMAA Regulatory Report.