OPMCA Connection
Keeping You Informed!


OPMCA Connection keeps you informed and current on regulations from all state and national agencies as well as laws pertaining to the petroleum marketing/c-store industry.
OPMCA STAFF

Candace McGinnis
Executive Director  
Candace@opmca4you.com 

Hannah May
Director of Member Services  
Hannah@opmca4you.com

OPMCA  
6420 N. Santa Fe, Suite B
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Phone: (405) 842-6625 
(800) 256-5013 
Fax: (405) 842-9562
2020-2021 Board of Directors

Kurtis Hutchinson, Chairman 
 Hutchinson Oil Company

Jerry Davidson
Pete's Corporation

Teresa Hollenbeck
Red Rock Distributing Company

John Netherton
Danielson Fuel Services

Jason Flinn
Flowers Oil Company

Rob Toth
Coffeyville Resource
  • Click Here to View all EMA Coronavirus Related Resources for Petroleum Marketers Including all Regulatory Reports

  • Click HERE to View the Latest Coronavirus Resources Provided NACS Relating to Convenience Stores as Essential Businesses
Monday, Feb. 15, 2021
  • Annual EPCRA Tier II Reports Must Be Filed by March 1, 2021

  • Update on Outstanding IRS Motor Fuel Excise Claims

  • COVID, Vaccines, Resources, and Updated Terrorism Threat Advisory

  • DOL Ends Program Allowing Employers to Self-Report Federal Minimum Wage and Hour Violations

  • OSHA Issues Stronger Workplace Safety Guidance to Protect Employees from COVID-19 Virus

  • FMCSA Reveals 56,000 Driver Violations Reported to Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in 2020

  • EMA Gets Out Front Against Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage

  • EMLI (PMLI) Registration

  • Federated Insurance Sponsored Webinar
OPMCA Convention Registration is OPEN!
The 2021 OPMCA Convention will be held on May 4th, with the Oklahoma Super Trade Show the following day on May 5th. Both will be taking place live and in person with COVID-19 safety precautions strongly encouraged. We know that with the current circumstances large events are subject to change, but regardless the OPMCA Convention will take place!

We want to encourage those that are interested in attending to please register in advance. We know times are unprecedented, but we are doing everything we can to have a safe and enjoyable event! OPMCA encourages all members to attend and participate in convention activities.
Annual EPCRA Tier II Reports Must Be Filed by March 1, 2021
It’s that time of year again for energy marketers to start preparing EPCRA Tier II reports for any facility storing petroleum during the 2020 calendar year. The Emergency Preparedness and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 was created to help communities plan for and respond to chemical emergencies by requiring facilities to report the type and amount of hazardous chemicals they store on-site.

EPCRA Tier II reports must be filed with local and/or state emergency response authorities (typically the Fire Marshal) no later than March 1, 2021. Bulk plant facilities that stored over 10,000 pounds of petroleum products onsite on any given day during calendar year 2020 must file EPCRA Tier II. The 10,000 pounds compliance trigger is calculated by combining the volume of all petroleum on site in every storage container including: above ground and underground bulk storage tanks, portable skid tanks, 55-gallon drums and even heating fuel or propane tanks used to heat facility buildings. However, retail gasoline facilities with 75,000 gallons or less of gasoline storage capacity and 100,000 gallons or less of diesel fuel storage capacity are exempt from EPCRA reporting requirements. Retail fueling sites with storage capacity over these thresholds are not exempt and must file an EPCRA Tier II report.

Instructions on how to file EPCRA Tier II reports can be found in the EMA Compliance Bulletin here. The Compliance bulletin contains: EPCRA Tier II forms; instructions on electronic filing; gallons to pounds conversion charts for the most common fuels; NAICS identification numbers for the petroleum industry; health and physical harm reporting characteristics for petroleum products; and links to Dun and Bradstreet number locator; where to file EPCRA Tier II reports links; EPCRA tutorial links; links to all state EPCRA authorities, as well as to the U.S. EPA EPCRA website.


Update on Outstanding IRS Motor Fuel Excise Claims
EMA’s continual pressure on the IRS to clear up the backlog of outstanding motor fuel refund claims owed to energy marketers looks like it has finally paid off. Senator Toomey’s (R-PA) office recently informed EMA that the IRS developed a new systematic method to process the backlogged claims, all of which were filed on paper rather than electronically. According to the IRS, the first checks for claims from Q1 and Q2 of 2020 were sent out on January 8. The processing will continue at an accelerated rate until the backlog is cleared by the end of February. The IRS is required to pay interest on claims not processed after 20 days when filed electronically and after 40 days when filed on paper forms. The accumulated interest should be significant but will not be included in refund checks to marketers. The interest on backlogged claims must be calculated manually.

In order to speed processing, the IRS will send two checks to claimants. The first check will pay the refund amount. The second check for the interest owed on the claims will be sent separately, at a later date. Claimants will receive a letter from the IRS explaining the process very soon. In the meantime, the IRS is urging claimants to file all claims electronically to avoid further delays.


COVID, Vaccines, Resources, and Updated Terrorism Threat Advisory
In alignment with President Biden’s plan to respond to COVID-19, FEMA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies and coordinating with state, tribal and territorial authorities and private sector partners and others to assist, augment and expedite vaccinations in the United States. For more, see FEMA's Role in COVID-19 Response.

In addition to EMA’s website, another highly useful site for resources is the OSHA Workplace COVID-19 Resources.

At the end of January, EMA sent an invitation to participate on a call that DHS held with stakeholders regarding the updated threat advisory. Due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, information suggests that some ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence. This bulletin is effective immediately and is valid through April 30, 2021.


DOL Ends Program Allowing Employers to Self-Report Federal Minimum Wage and Hour Violations
The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week the immediate end of its Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program launched by the department’s Wage and Hour Division in 2018. The program was terminated effective January 29, 2021. The PAID program allowed employers to self-report federal minimum wage and overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Once reported, employees were barred from suing for back wages and damages owed to them due to the violations. Instead, employers were able to work directly with the DOL Wage and Hour Division to correct violations and deliver any back wages to employees.

The DOL said the PAID program is no longer needed because the department provides significant outreach and educational resources for employers seeking assistance to understand their responsibilities to comply with wage and hour laws. In addition, the department said its resources are sufficient for helping employers comply without relieving them of their legal obligations and ensure that employees understand their rights. The end of the PAID program means that employers can only obtain a release of FLSA claims through a court-approved settlement or as a result of an investigation initiated by the DOL. Even though the PAID program is over, employers should continue to self-audit their pay records and correct any potential wage and hour violations that are identified to reduce liability.


OSHA Issues Stronger Workplace Safety Guidance to Protect Employees from COVID-19 Virus


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers to implement a coronavirus prevention program and identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. The guidance, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The guidance is not a standard or regulation and creates no new legal obligations for employers. Instead, it contains recommendations and descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards.

The updated guidance recommends that employers adopt the following elements for their workplace COVID-19 prevention program:


  • Conduct a hazard assessment.
  • Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus.
  • Adopt policies for employee absences who do not punish workers to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home.
  • Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers.
  • Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.


The guidance also details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including keeping infected or potentially infected people out of the workplace; implementing and following physical distancing protocols; and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. The guidance also offers advice on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.


FMCSA Reveals 56,000 Driver Violations Reported to Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that more than 56,000 CDL driver drug and alcohol violations were recorded last year in the agency’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database which began operation on January 6, 2020. The Clearinghouse is an online database that tracks all CDL drivers’ drug and alcohol compliance history. The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to prevent job-hopping by drivers in the event of failed drug tests.

Employers of CDL drivers are required to use the Clearinghouse to upload driver drug and alcohol testing records and conduct searches for pre-employment drug and alcohol violations. Employers must also use the Clearinghouse to conduct annual drug and alcohol reviews for all CDL drivers employed by them. According to the FMCSA, only 1,203 of the 56,000 driver violations reported in the Clearinghouse database last year were alcohol related. Marijuana use accounted for 29,500 of all drug test failures reported in 2020. In addition, the Clearinghouse contained more than 7,940 failed tests for cocaine use, and 4,953 for amphetamine use. Also included in the total were about 1,120 tests described as reasonable suspicion of attempts to cheat on a drug test. The FMCSA reported more than 45,000 drivers lost their jobs in 2020 due to drug and alcohol violations. However, approximately 34,000 of those drivers have not yet completed the return-to-work program, suggesting they left their jobs for good.

According to the U.S. DOT, there are 5,174,170 truck drivers under FMCSA authority. While using the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is mandatory for all employers of CDL drivers, the 56,000 violations recorded in 2020 represents just 1.1 percent of the available driver pool nationwide. Marketers who have not signed up with the Clearinghouse should do so immediately.

Please click here to review the EMA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Compliance Bulletin sign-up instructions.


EMA Gets Out Front Against Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage
Last Monday, EMA joined other organizations in a letter to members of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure of opposition to any increase in the minimum liability coverage for motor carriers in the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.

Although marketers are not included in the current proposed language, EMA continues to oppose any efforts to unnecessarily raise requirements on other industries since changes there might lead to changes for other trucking industries.

Today’s minimum insurance level adequately covers damages in all but 0.6 percent of crashes, and other insurance and assets can cover those. Further, there is no reputable research indicating an increase of any amount would help reduce crash rates.


EMLI (PMLI) Registration
EMA is excited to announce that registration is open for the Energy Marketers Leadership Institute (EMLI)!
 

EMLI is new and improved and is designed to make it easier and more affordable for OPMCA members to attend. The EMLI programs will be delivered online via Zoom video conference and will include breakout rooms so that the leaders who are attending can interact and learn together.  


Special thanks to Lea McCullough for her leadership in working with Meridian to design and deliver the EMLI programs. Here are the dates and information on how to register.  
 
 
Growing as a Leader Through MBTI
(includes MBTI – The Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment)
Understanding Ourselves and Others
Facilitator: Lea McCullough
Friday, Monday, Tuesday - 2/26, 3/1, 3/2 @ 1:00 – 2:30 PM EDT
Registration Fee: $795
   
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Pathways to Leadership
Making a Difference In and Through State Associations
Facilitator: Lea McCullough
Wednesday – 3/3 @ 1:00-2:30 PM EDT
Registration Fee: $195
  
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How to Become a Better Lobbyist
Learn to Have Conversations That Have More Influence
Facilitator: To Be Announced
To be scheduled in June
Registration Fee: $195
 
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Three Course Bundle for $995
  
 
To register , please click on this link:
Federated Insurance Sponsored Webinar