October 11, 2019 [WR-19-39]
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Quick Links to Articles for October 11, 2019

 
Aaron Littlefield Elected 2020 PMAA Chair of the Board

Worldpay’s Petroleum Customer Resources Guide

PMAA Compliance Bulletin: Registration Period Opens for Mandatory Use of FMCSA Online Database for CDL Driver Drug and Alcohol Violations

Presidential Executive Order to Limit Regulatory Impact of Agency Guidance Documents

President Trump’s Biofuels Plan Likely to Increase Ethanol Mandate

McDonald’s Corp Receives Favorable Ruling in Joint Employer Case

California’s Lengthy Preemptive Wildfire Power Shut-Off

Federated Insurance Risk Management Academy Webinar

PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

Check Out PMAA Journal Anytime Online

Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner

INTL FCStone Hosting Energy Risk Management Academy November 12, 2019

 
Articles for October 11, 2019
 
Aaron Littlefield Elected 2020 PMAA Chair of the Board

Aaron Littlefield, Littlefield Oil Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas, was elected 2020 PMAA Chair of the Board during PMAA’s recent Fall Meeting at the NACS Show in Atlanta, Georgia. In accepting the position, Aaron thanked the Board of Directors for their confidence in him and outlined some of his goals and objectives for next year which include improving efforts to educate the public and lawmakers about the important role liquid fuels serve in the marketplace. Littlefield wants to find ways to unite the liquid fuels industry behind one vision to power America into the future and to tell the story of how the liquid fuels industry has added to the well-being of every American.

Serving alongside Mr. Littlefield includes PMAA Vice Chair Jimm Cross, Cross Petroleum, Redding, California, and Tommy Thompson, Thompson Energy, LLC, Dalton, Georgia who was elected PMAA Second Vice Chair. Four region leaders were also elected to the PMAA Executive Committee include Jim Lipscomb, Southeast Region Chair; Jason Mirabito, Northeast Region Chair; Frank Marcello, North Central Region Chair; Steve Ferren, South Central Association Executive and Jay Cattoor, North Central Region Chair.

Aaron Littlefield III is the President of Littlefield Oil Company in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The company was founded in 1946 by Aaron’s grandfather and great uncle, A.B. Littlefield and W.C. Littlefield. From humble beginnings as a single-bay gasoline station in Booneville, Arkansas, the company’s footprint now ranges from Arkansas into Oklahoma and Missouri.

Aaron took the reins in 2013 as the third-generation leader of the company. He had been in the fuel business his entire life, but also has overseen the company ventures into convenience stores, real estate holdings, trucking and propane.

In addition to PMAA, Aaron has held the positions of:

  • Board of Directors and past President - Arkansas Oil Marketers Association

  • Board of Directors - Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce

  • Board of Directors – Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority

  • Advisory Board to the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • NACS Legislative Committee

Worldpay’s Petroleum Customer Resources Guide

Your relationship with Worldpay is our Number One priority, which is why we continually work to provide you with an industry-leading, easy-to-navigate relationship management model. We want to inform you of an improved process for managing your account.

To provide our best-in-class customer service, we have re-engineered our relationship management model and have given you access to our Client Services Contact Center support team. Please call this team for all your relationship and servicing needs related to your account including billing questions, technical questions, reporting and more. Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 888-720-6813.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to PMAA’s Worldpay Enterprise Relationship Manager, Glenda Preen at 972.325.1801. Worldpay is a PMAA Corporate Silver Partner and Vendor.

PMAA Compliance Bulletin
Registration Period Opens for Mandatory Use of FMCSA Online Database for CDL Driver Drug and Alcohol Violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that online registration is now open for the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Online Clearinghouse Database. The Clearinghouse is a secure online, searchable electronic database where all CDL driver drug and alcohol violations will now be posted. The Clearinghouse will provide employers, CDL drivers, medical review officers (MRO), substance abuse professionals (SAP), state driver licensing agencies (SDLA) and enforcement authorities real-time information about CDL drivers drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions, including positive drug or alcohol test results, test refusals, completion of return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan. CDL drivers, employers, MROs, SAPs and SDLAs must all register to use the database.

The Clearinghouse mandate does not change any existing U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations or procedures other than to require use of the online database to comply with existing drug and alcohol regulations. Employer use of the Clearinghouse database is required for pre-employment CDL driver record investigation; annual drug and alcohol investigations for all current CDL employees; to upload driver drug and alcohol violations; and return to duty status records. Congress required the FMCSA to create and implement the Clearinghouse under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405).

1. EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES

The Clearinghouse will offer employers (or their third-party assignees) a centralized location to query driver information and report drug and alcohol program violations incurred by their current and prospective employees holding CDLs and/ commercial driver learners permit. The employer must use the CDL driver drug and alcohol violation Clearinghouse to:

  • Register online to access the Clearinghouse database.

  • Search the Clearinghouse as part of each pre-employment driver investigation process.

  • Conduct limited annual queries for every driver they employ.

  • Request electronic consent from the driver for a full query, including pre-employment queries.

  • Report drug and alcohol program violations.

  • Record the negative return-to-duty (RTD) test results and the date of successful completion of a follow-up testing plan for any driver they employ with unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.

2. SEARCHING THE CLEARINGHOUSE DATABASE

Employers can conduct two types of queries on the Clearinghouse database:

  • Limited Query - A limited query allows an employer to determine if an individual driver’s Clearinghouse record has any information about resolved or unresolved drug and alcohol program violations but does not release any specific violation information contained in the driver’s Clearinghouse record. Limited queries require only a general driver consent, which is obtained outside the Clearinghouse. This general consent is not required on an annual basis. It may be effective for more than one year. However, the limited consent request must be in writing, and specify the duration of the consent period.

  • The limited query meets the annual drug and alcohol record check requirements all employers must already conduct for CDL drivers.

  • Full Query - A full query allows the employer to see detailed information about any drug and alcohol program violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. An employer must obtain the driver’s electronic consent in the Clearinghouse prior to the release of detailed violation information during the full query.

    • The full query meets the federal pre-employment drug and alcohol violations search employers must conduct before hiring a CDL driver.

The Clearinghouse database will only contain new driver drug and alcohol information occurring after January 6, 2020. Manual record investigation must continue to reach back three years for pre-employment or one year for annual employee driver record check already required by the DOT regulations. A fact sheet on Clearinghouse database searches may be found here: Clearinghouse Queries.

3. USER QUERY FEE

  • Query Fee – The FMCSA is charging a flat $1.25 rate for each query. The FMCSA is charging a flat $1.25 rate for each query. Query purchase plans may be purchased here: Query Purchase Plans.

4. CLEARINGHOUSE REGISTRATION

Employers must register with the Clearinghouse database before searching and /or uploading driver information. Employers must follow a two-step registration process:

  • Federal “login.gov” Registration - The first registration step requires employers to obtain a secure federal government login account. The secure login account will help ensure that the information in the Clearinghouse remains secure and private. Login accounts may be obtained here: Secure Login Account.

  • Clearinghouse Registration – Once employers obtain a secure login account the must register with the Clearinghouse here: Clearinghouse Registration.

5. ASSIGNING THIRD PARTIES TO SEARCH AND UPLOAD DRIVER INFORMATION

Once registered, employers may designate a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) to access the Clearinghouse on your behalf (Drug and Alcohol Testing Vendors)

  • Third Party Assignment - Employers, consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), medical review officers (MROs), and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) must identify an individual for their company to serve as a Clearinghouse Administrator. These Clearinghouse Administrators have the option to invite users to serve in an Assistant role, enabling them to use the Clearinghouse on their company’s behalf.

6. DRIVER RESPONSIBILITIES

Drivers must register with the Clearinghouse in order to:

  • Check Records – Drivers must register with the clearing house to check their drug and alcohol driving record and be able to contest incorrect entries.

  • Provide Consent – Drivers must register to provide electronic consent for prospective employers to conduct pre employment drug and alcohol records search.

7. COMPLIANCE DEADLINE

  • Employers and drivers must register with the FMCSA drug and alcohol Clearinghouse no later than January 6, 2020.

  • Employers and drivers may register with the Clearinghouse starting October 11, 2019.

  • Employers and/or their third-party designees must begin using the database for pre -employment investigations on January 6, 2020.

  • Employers will no longer to be required to conduct manual pre-employment driver drug and alcohol investigations once three years of testing and/or violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse. Manual pre-employment investigation will no longer be required after January 6, 2023.

  • Employers and/or third-party designees, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals must begin uploading driver drug and alcohol violations on January 6, 2020.

It is highly recommended that employers, drivers, drug and alcohol testing vendors and substance abuse professionals register now with the Clearinghouse rather than wait for the January 6, 2020 registration deadline.

8. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Presidential Executive Order to Limit Regulatory Impact of Agency Guidance Documents

President Trump signed two executive orders this week designed to improve transparency when government agencies issue guidance documents on how to comply with federal laws or regulations. Agency guidance documents are generally made in response to a regulated party’s request for regulatory clarification. However, some federal agencies use guidance, in the form of memos, letters, and even blog posts, to assert more authority than is written in their regulations. Moreover, some agencies use guidance documents to justify citations issued to regulated parties for non-compliance. Agency reliance on guidance documents is widespread because they can be used to impose regulatory requirements without submission to the public notice and comment process that all federal rulemakings must follow. These “stealth regulations” are issued more quickly than rulemakings, issued without knowledge of regulated parties and remain largely hidden from public view. As a result, regulated parties often don’t learn about the existence of regulatory guidance until they are cited for violating its provisions.

The President’s first executive order requires each federal agency to upload guidance documents to their websites on a single repository page that is easily accessed by the public. Any guidance document that is not posted within a required time frame will be deemed null and void. The repository page will make it easier for regulated parties to find guidance on a subject affecting their business. In addition, agencies must provide a 30-day public notice and comment period for new guidance documents 30 days before they are finalized.

The second executive order prevents agencies from conducting “surprise enforcement actions” based on regulatory requirements based on obscure guidance documents and provides regulated parties more opportunity to contest any resulting violation. In January 2018, the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked federal agencies to submit reports on the number of guidance documents each issued over the previous ten-year period. The committee received an inventory of more than 13,000 agency guidance documents issued over the time period and speculated substantially more were likely to be found in unknown regions of agency websites.

President Trump’s Biofuels Plan Likely to Increase Ethanol Mandate
Proposed Plan Would Benefit Ethanol Producers at the Expense of Retail Marketers

This week, President Trump announced that his new biofuels plan will lead to an increase in the amount of ethanol required under the RFS for 2020. According to Trump, the current 15-billion-gallon mandate will increase to 16 billion gallons in 2020.

However, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said that the deal would lead to a net of around 15 billion gallons of ethanol after considering the small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted by the EPA. During the interview, Wheeler stated, “Going forward we’re going to estimate how many small refinery exemptions to grant next year, so at the end of the day we’re going to net out at the 15 billion gallons.”

Last Friday, the Trump administration announced a new biofuels plan designed to make E15 the dominant gasoline blend nationwide. Specifically, the administration proposes to reallocate lost blend volumes exempted under small refinery waivers to large refiners. Since 2017, small refinery waivers have removed billions of gallons from annual biofuels blending mandates under the RFS program. The waivers play a large role in preventing a de facto E15 mandate by keeping volumetric blending requirements more closely aligned with actual consumer demand.

The administration is proposing to retroactively reallocate waived gallons from 2017 forward. Forcing waived volume back into the market is likely to drive up the value of RINs needed to offset unmet blending obligations. In turn, this is likely to provide an incentive for a select group of retailers to blend ethanol and call it “unleaded88” at the pump.

More importantly for petroleum marketers, the new proposal is likely to allow E15 to be sold from UST systems potentially containing components that are not compatible with the higher ethanol blends. Unfortunately, such blanket approval will not eliminate marketer liability for releases due to E15 sold from noncompatible UST systems. Nor will it eliminate UST compatibility demonstration requirements mandated by federal and state underground storage tank programs and state and local fire marshal laws. Further, such an approval threatens marketers’ eligibility for corrective action cost recovery from state tank funds and private UST insurance policies. In addition, state tank funds, which are crucial to meet marketer financial assurance requirements, are likely to be pushed into insolvency as claims mount for E15 releases from noncompatible UST systems.

The new policy would only place marketers at a competitive disadvantage due to the potentially significant costs to upgrade or modify the configuration of equipment to sell E15, in addition to increasing liability risk for marketers and expose motorists to confusion and possibly misfuelling at the pump with E15 labeled as “unleaded88.” The new RFS policy comes on the heels of a recent rule allowing the year-round sale of E15 nationwide. Both are designed to placate upset corn farmers and ethanol producers for short term political benefit rather than advancing a coherent, long term, market driven energy policy.

McDonald’s Corp Receives Favorable Ruling in Joint Employer Case

A federal appeals court ruled recently that McDonald’s Corp. didn’t exercise enough control over its franchisee to be held liable for alleged violations under a California wage law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that McDonald’s Corp did not have direct oversight of its franchisee’s workforce’s hours, wages and working conditions and concluded that the iconic fast food chain only exerted direct control over its franchisee regarding the quality control of its product. Click here to read the story.

California’s Lengthy Preemptive Wildfire Power Shut-Off

On Wednesday, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) began a huge wildfire preemptive outage to half a million customers in Northern California. In addition to those directly impacted by the shut-off, it is also expected to impact major transportation corridors, amounting to 2.4 million customers who may be affected. Further, the power may not be turned back on until Tuesday, and Southern California Edison may also shut-off power for an additional 173,000 customers. Last year, PG&E did not shut-off power before the Camp Fire that killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. For the full article, click here.

Federated Insurance Risk Management Academy Webinar
Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: Fire Prevention Strategies: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. CT

A fire could NEVER happen to me! This is a common thought among many businesses today. Unfortunately, they don't realize until after a devastating blaze, that simple strategies could prevent most fires. This presentation focuses on steps a business should take to help prevent disastrous fire losses. This webinar will also include steps a business can take to help expedite recovery and resume serving customers as quickly as possible.

What you will learn:

  • Analyze the main causes of fire across all industries

  • Address these fire risks through consistent risk management

  • Prepare for fire or other disasters to get your business back up and running to serve your customers

Advanced registration is required for this 30-minute webinar.

For additional information or to discuss this in further detail, please contact your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s newly assigned National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner.

PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
You’ve Learned All the Basics … Now Welcome to Biodiesel 201

The heating oil industry’s understanding and embrace of biofuels has accelerated and grown in recent months like never before. REG is delighted to have helped so many dealers become blending partners in the Bioheat® fuel revolution. By now, most Let’s Blend readers should be pretty familiar with biodiesel basics such as the best practices for storage and blending, covered in the August issue. (If you still have questions about any of these topics, please do not hesitate to reach out).

However, to compete in the coming clean-energy economy, fuel dealers will need to know more than just the basics. The fuels of the future demand new insights and new strategies for success. Once again, REG is ready to deliver. As a primer, here are just a few “Biodiesel 201” concepts that will help give you a leg-up on the competition.

Click here to read Biodiesel 201: Beyond the Basics.
Click here for our Biodiesel Dictionary containing other helpful definitions.

Please visit or contact REG at 515.239.8104. Renewable Energy Group is a PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner.

Check Out PMAA Journal Anytime Online

Did you know that you can view our Journal online? You can find our Fall Issue online soon! (The issue will be in your mailboxes later this month). In addition to its printed version, PMAA Journal has been available in a new and improved digital format. Now the magazine can be easily viewed on any device, whether smartphone, tablet or computer screen! Scroll vertically through all the content in the magazine and easily select individual articles to read or share via the buttons at the top.

Want to see past issues? They can be found on the left side of your browser screen (or the top of your mobile device’s window) - just one click and they're at your fingertips! Additionally, the flipping-page digital version is still available and easily accessible through the menu bar in the upper left corner.

For information on advertising in this valuable format, please call 844.423.7272 or email Innovative Publishing.

Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner
Workplace Violence

Violence in the workplace has gained extra attention in the media lately. Shootings at large retail centers, medical professionals attacked by patients — high-profile occurrences such as these make the news, but for every headline-grabbing tragedy, thousands of events impact businesses, but are not publicized.

The term “workplace violence” covers a wide variety of incidents, from physical assault to harassment and intimidation to murder. Employees who work directly with the public, those who exchange money with customers, and those who work at night or in the early morning are at the highest risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than two million Americans are victims of workplace violence. That’s an alarming number, and one that should make business owners start thinking about how they can help keep their employees safe on the job.

To read about Federated’s recommended tips, please click here. For additional information or to discuss further, please contact your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s newly assigned National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner.

INTL FCStone Hosting Energy Risk Management Academy November 12, 2019

INTL FCStone Financial Inc., a PMAA Corporate Bronze Partner, is hosting an Energy Risk Academy in Omaha, Nebraska on November 12. This interactive, pure educational seminar will provide you with an informative overview of the energy market and how implementing a price-risk management strategy could help protect your bottom line from being seriously impacted during volatile times.

In times of volatile energy prices, energy producers and consumers need to know all available Price Risk Management alternatives to meet their energy needs.

Besides the benefit of invaluable market knowledge, INTL FC Stone is offering PMAA members $100 off the registration fee by using the discount code: ENERGY. Those members who register before October 15th will also receive an automatic early-bird discount of an additional $50 off registration.

 
     
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