• PMAA Weekly Review

  • PMAA Weekly Review

         
     
    May 22, 2020 [WR-20-21]
    Sponsored by Global Companies LLC
    who generously supports PMAA’s work in our Nation’s Capital
     

    Quick Links to Articles for May 22, 2020

     
    Regulatory Compliance Bulletin Reminder: Annual Hazmat Transportation Registration Renewal Deadline is July 1, 2020 

    USDA is Now Accepting Applications for Matching Grants Under the Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program 

    U.S. Small Business Administration Releases Application and Instructions for PPP Loan Forgiveness

    CDC Issues Guidelines for Reopening Businesses

    Mastercard Delays EMV Deadline to April 16, 2021 with Conditions

    OSHA Updated COVID-19 Guidance

    Reminder: Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries

    House to Vote on Improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Next Week

    Supreme Court Denies Request to Hear Case Challenging the Point of Obligation Under the RFS

    NOAA Expects an Above Normal 2020 Hurricane Season

    COVID-19 Responsible Recovery Compendium 

    FEMA Releases Pandemic Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season and All Hazards

    DOL Issues Final Rule Clarifying Overtime Rules for Retail and Service Industry Employers

    Biden Selects Green New Deal Advocates to Run Presidential Climate Change Task Force

    Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner

    PMAA Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Meridian Associates, Inc.

    PMAA Corporate Gold Partner Spotlight Featuring: Sound Payments Petro Solutions

    PMAA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: Office Depot through National Purchasing Partners 

     
    Articles for May 22, 2020
     
    Regulatory Compliance Bulletin Reminder: Annual Hazmat Transportation Registration Renewal Deadline is July 1, 2020 

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requires both hazardous material transporters and those who offer hazardous materials to common carriers for shipment to register and pay a fee each year in return for a certificate of authority to operate in both intrastate and interstate commerce. However, since multiyear registrations are allowed, not all certificates are up for renewal on July 1, 2020. Marketers should look at their registration certificate for the date of renewal or search registration status at PHMSA’s online website (provided in the full regulatory report link below) to determine registration renewal year. All expiring registrations must be filed by the July 1, 2020 deadline in order to maintain operating authority to haul hazardous materials (petroleum products). Failure to do so will also result in a substantial fine. HAZMAT registration certificates are routinely checked by enforcement authorities at roadside inspections. Any vehicle without a current HAZMAT registration will be pulled out of service and the company will lose operating authority until registration is brought up to date.

    Click here for the full regulatory report.

    USDA is Now Accepting Applications for Matching Grants Under the Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program 

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. The program is designed to expand the availability of higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel to retail consumers. 

    Click here for the full PMAA Today report from earlier in the week. 

    U.S. Small Business Administration Releases Application and Instructions for PPP Loan Forgiveness

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the application borrowers must submit to their lenders to qualify for Paycheck Protection Loan (PPP) forgiveness. The application is accompanied by several worksheets and instructional pages that provide clarity on several critical questions facing PPP loan recipients. 

    Click here to read the full PMAA Today report from earlier in the week.

    As reported last week, the SBA updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (FAQ #46) confirming that “[a]ny borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.” According to the SBA, this “is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans.” According to some estimates, about half of the approximately 400 PPP loans approved for publicly traded companies were for less than US$2 million.

    CDC Issues Guidelines for Reopening Businesses

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published detailed guidelines for reopening businesses that have been shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document includes "Interim Guidance for Restaurants and Bars" starting on page 53. Click here to view the guidance.

    Mastercard Delays EMV Deadline to April 16, 2021 with Conditions

    On Monday, Mastercard announced an extension of its EMV liability date to April 16, 2021. In a statement, Mastercard also announced that it “will develop a compliance program for some fuel merchants who have experienced high fraud at their locations to ensure they have a remediation plan in place to preempt and mitigate fraudulent transactions at their locations.” 
    Click here to view the whole statement. 

    PMAA is working to get additional details on the fraud mitigation program. For example, what does high fraud risk mean? Does it mean higher than average or will they use some other benchmark? Does high risk apply on a company wide basis or a particular outlet? For example, would a marketer who has a particular high-risk outlet have to implement the fraud mitigation at all his/her outlets? What sort of fraud mitigation activities will they require? 

    Voyager also just issued a delay to April 17, 2021. Click here to read the statement. 

    Major Card Network EMV New deadlines:

    VISA: April 17, 2021
    Mastercard: April 16, 2021
    Discover: April 16, 2021
    Amex: April 16, 2021

    As you know, PMAA recently completed its own EMV survey over an 8-day period (April 30-May 7th) in which 253 companies participated in the survey. The results clearly demonstrate that a significant number of retail stations are unable to meet the October 2020 EMV deadline. Click herefor the survey results.

    OSHA Updated COVID-19 Guidance

    Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, businesses are likely to be faced with COVID-19 complaints as customers return. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on May 19th issued an updated interim enforcement response plan for COVID-19 and an interim guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. 

    Under the Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19, on-site inspections will be prioritized for fatalities and imminent danger exposures with particular attention on high-risk workplaces such as healthcare providers and workplaces with a high number of complaints and areas with high community transmission or a resurgence in community transmission of COVID-19. If on-site inspections cannot be conducted for these cases due to insufficient resources, the inspection will be initiated remotely with a follow-up on-site inspection when resources are available. In areas where the COVID-19 spread has significantly decreased or for medium risk workplaces (jobs with frequent and/or close contact with public or coworkers) and low risk workplaces (minimal occupational contact with the public and other coworkers) OSHA will follow normal (pre-COVID-19) inspection procedures. In these cases, complaints might not result in an on-site inspection but will be conducted using a non-formal phone/fax investigation or rapid response investigations. OSHA Compliance Officers will be required to take appropriate precautions and use personal protective equipment (PPE) when performing COVID-19 inspections. 

    The Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19 becomes effective on May 26, 2020. This guidance is time-limited to the current COVID-19 public health crisis. COVID-19 is a recordable illness that employers are responsible for recording if the case is (1) a confirmed case of COVID-19, (2) the case is work related, and (3) meets the criteria in 29 CFR § 1904.7 (i.e., results in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness). In recognition of the transmission of this disease in the community and the resulting difficulty in determining whether a COVID-19 illness is work-related, this guidance describes criteria that will be evaluated to determine if an employer has made a good faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements. OSHA will consider the reasonableness of the investigation into whether the COVID-19 case was work related, the available evidence, and the evaluation of the available evidence. 

    With this revised guidance, businesses should expect an increase focus and response on COVID-19 complaints. COVID-19 complaints by employees will need to be investigated regardless of whether it is ultimately determined that it was work-related.

    Reminder: Urge Congress to Provide Liability Protection to Essential Critical Infrastructure Industries

    PMAA is urging Congress to protect essential businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic from lawsuits and other claims by infected persons. The liability protection effort would provide essential businesses, designated as essential critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, with immunity from lawsuits claiming money damages for persons who allegedly contracted COVID-19 at a business premises or as a result of business operations. 

    The motor fuels, heating fuels and convenience store industries are at the forefront of COVID-19 response efforts and should not have to worry about future lawsuits for providing needed products and services to American consumers. 

    Please click here to urge your lawmakers for liability protection in a future COVID-19 response bill. 

    House to Vote on Improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Next Week

    Next week, the House is expected to approve bipartisan legislation to make several improvements to the PPP. H.R. 6886, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, cosponsored by Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Chip Roy (R-TX), would allow businesses receiving forgivable PPP loans additional flexibility in using their loan proceeds which would: 

    • Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week covered period;

    • Eliminate restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 25 percent of loan proceeds;

    • Eliminate restrictions that limits loan terms to two years;

    • Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans; and

    • Provide a rehiring safe harbor for businesses unable to rehire employees due to the effects of enhanced Unemployment Insurance

    Given that Senate Republicans are generally supportive of these changes to the PPP, it’ likely that the PPP will be revised soon. PMAA also signed onto a letter this week along with the Chamber of Commerce and dozens of business associations requesting emergency legislative and administrative action to repeal the PPP’s 75%-25% rule, extending the eight-week period for purposes of calculating loan forgiveness, and extending the June 30 safe harbor date for rehiring and restoration of pay. These steps would conform the PPP with the reality of the gradual reopening now occurring across the United States and would help ensure that more small businesses remain in operation. Click here to read the letter.

    Supreme Court Denies Request to Hear Case Challenging the Point of Obligation Under the RFS

    Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to review a challenge to the RFS point of obligation brought by Valero Energy Corp. and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Independent merchant refiners petitioned the EPA in 2016 to consider changing the point of obligation under the RFS which is used to identify the party required to meet annual renewable fuel blending mandates established by the EPA. The EPA rejected the petition for rulemaking stating it did not anticipate any benefit from moving the point of obligation to position holders at the terminal rack. Instead, the agency contended such a change would significantly increase the complexity of the RFS program and reduce its effectiveness by exponentially increasing the number of obligated parties subject to annual blending mandates. 

    Independent merchant refiners who do not blend renewable fuel support moving the point of obligation to blenders position holders at the terminal rack so refiners would no longer be required to purchase RIN credits which they currently rely on each year to meet their entire renewable fuel blending mandate. Merchant refiners say the cost of RIN credits is increasingly expensive and creates an uneven playing field by producing windfall profits for blenders who create and sell the RIN credits back to them for compliance with RFS blending mandates. Renewable fuel blenders, on the other hand, want to keep the point of obligation at the refiner so they can continue to earn profits off the sale of RIN credits they create through blending and use them to subsidize the price of gasoline and diesel fuel at their own retail outlets.

    Valero and AFPM requested the Court to decide whether the language of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to determine the point of obligation each year in the same rulemaking that sets annual RFS blending mandates for obligated parties. The Supreme Court’s denial of their request likely ends the effort to move the point of obligation to the position holder at the terminal rack. 

    NOAA Expects an Above Normal 2020 Hurricane Season

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week that it expects the 2020 Hurricane season to be above normal. NOAA forecasts 13 to 19 named storms, with six to 10 possible hurricanes and three to six of those could become Category 3 hurricanes or higher. 

    Click here for the full story. 

    COVID-19 Responsible Recovery Compendium 

    On Wednesday, the Oil and Natural Gas COVID-19 Responsible Recovery Compendium was released and shared with our federal, state, local, tribal, and other private sector partners. PMAA served on the Responsible Recovery Compendium Work Group that wrote the document. Click hereto read it. 

    The compendium is intended to serve as a compilation of the operational realities, challenges, and mitigation strategies of the energy sector in its recovery to this pandemic. It also stresses the importance of partnerships and shared responsibilities across the sector and with government partners at all levels.

    While much of the nation transitioned to telework operations, reduced operations, or had temporarily ceased work per state and local mandates, a significant portion of oil and gas operators continued field work to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of energy to fuel our nation’s economy. Now, as other critical infrastructures are planning for ‘re-entry,‘ the oil and natural gas subsector is moving into a recovery phase.

    The Oil and Natural Gas COVID-19 Responsible Recovery Compendium will serve as a reference for this pandemic and any future pandemics our world may face. We hope our partners and other industries may benefit from the collective knowledge in the Responsible Recovery document. 

    FEMA Releases Pandemic Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season and All Hazards

    To address the challenges of managing disaster response and recovery efforts during this year’s hurricane season and other disasters such as flooding and wildfires, FEMA has released the“COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers, public health officials, and the private sector best prepare for new disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, the guidance:

    • Outlines funding of Emergency Protective Measures by state;

    • Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations; 

    • Highlights planning considerations based on current challenges;

    • Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations;

    • Shares understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers; and, 

    • Provides guidance, checklists, and resources to support response and recovery planning. 

    While aspects of FEMA program delivery are different this year, FEMA does not anticipate major changes in program eligibility, timeliness of grant awards, or level of assistance provided under the Individual and Households Program. 

    DOL Issues Final Rule Clarifying Overtime Rules for Retail and Service Industry Employers

    On Monday, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a final rule, effective immediately, simplifying an overtime exemption for commission-based workers in the retail and service industries. The new rule is designed to provide greater clarity and flexibility for employers by withdrawing two provisions from the WHD regulations. 

    Click here to view the DOL press release on the final rule that was announced earlier this week. 

    Biden Selects Green New Deal Advocates to Run Presidential Climate Change Task Force

    Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has selected co-chairs for his climate change task force, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and former Secretary of State John Kerry. Allowing these progressives to lead direction on climate change policy is an effort to unite the party before the general election in November.

    The group will also include the executive director of the Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash. Sunrise is the youth-led champion of the Green New Deal. The task force is one of many and are being formed by Senator Sanders (D-VT). When Sanders endorsed Biden in April, he said that in spite of the differences between Biden and Sanders, "I hope that these task forces will come together utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign to work out real solutions to these very, very important problems." 

    Federated Insurance: Risk Management Corner
    Working in Heat

    After a long, gray winter, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the mercury is rising — and rising, and rising. For several weeks in the spring, outdoor work is going to be comfortable — even preferable to indoor work. But by mid- to late June, the temps will begin to take their toll. 

    Preparing for and handling working in heat and humidity can provide protection from potentially deadly conditions. Your body is designed to cool itself and normally does a good job. But if you are exposed to extreme heat for too long, sweat a lot and do not rehydrate, your cooling system may fail. A heat-related illness can start slowly — you may not even realize it is happening — but it can quickly get worse if it is not treated.

    To learn more about the dangers and how to avoid them in addition to the warning signs, please click here. For additional information or to discuss further, please contact your Federated regional representative or PMAA’s National Account Executive Jon Medo at 800.533.0472. Federated is a PMAA Corporate Platinum Partner.

    PMAA Platinum Partner Spotlight Featuring: Meridian Associates, Inc.
    Control Transportation Costs by Betsi Bixby

    Do you know exactly how much it costs you to deliver product to each customer? If not, how do you know if you are making any money at the bottom-line on each trip? In today’s disrupted market, this is critical! 

    If you want to get your arms around transportation costs once and for all, you must segregate transportation expenses from the rest of your general operating expenses. You have two choices for segregation — a separate division or a separate company all together. There are merits to both. 

    To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

    To learn more about PMAA’s Corporate Platinum Partner, Meridian Associates, please visit or contact them at 800.728.9005. 

    PMAA Corporate Gold Partner Spotlight Featuring: Sound Payments Petro Solutions
    PAX Technology and Sound Payments Recognized for Providing an Optimal Tap to Pay Point of Sale Experience

    At a time when social distancing, minimizing touch points, and price are top of mind, we have a solution that contributes to solving these points for stations while enabling EMV at the pump. 

    PAX Technology and Sound Payments are proud to announce they were honored with a 2020 Visa U.S. Qualified Tap to Pay Point of Sale Program Award for offering an optimal tap to pay point of sale experience. Their combined Tap to Pay Solution provides customers with the ease and simplicity that is necessary for contactless to be a go-to payment method, especially in places where it is most convenient such as at the pump.

    To read the press release in its entirety, please click here

    For more information, please visitSound Payments is a PMAA Corporate Gold Partner. 

    PMAA Member Services Spotlight Featuring: Office Depot through National Purchasing Partners 
    Protect against germs and keep your office clean with Office Depot and OfficeMax

    Office Depot and NPP can help you save money on janitorial and cleaning supplies. Whether you are looking to switch to disinfecting hand soap or you want to stock up on all-purpose cleaners, Office Depot and OfficeMax can help you get the job done. PMAA members save money with NPP discounts and free shipping. Certain items are even available for store pickup if your need is immediate. 

    To access Office Depot and OfficeMax discounts through NPP, enroll your business for FREE here. NPP is a member benefit provider of PMAA.

    Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability.