The 2018 PEI Convention in Las Vegas concluded Oct. 10 after four full days of nonstop networking, exceptional trade show exhibits and informative education sessions. With 1,766 registrants, paid attendance exceeded the 2017 Chicago convention by 9 percent and PEI’s 2015 Las Vegas convention by 8 percent. Here are a few highlights.
Delegates at the Oct. 9 membership meeting elected Charlie Burns, president of the Oscar W. Larson Co., Clarkston, Michigan, the 69th president of PEI, effective Jan. 1. In one of his first acts as president, Burns will make more than 200 committee appointments during a Nov. 1 visit to PEI headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you are interested in being considered, please email your name and area of interest to PEI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Mascott, president of Mascott Equipment Co. in Portland, Oregon, was elected to a one-year term as PEI vice president, effective Jan. 1. The PEI Board of Directors also named Steve Dixon, president of P.B. Hoidale Co., Wichita, Kansas, PEI treasurer, effective immediately.
Furthermore, seven individuals were elected as directors for PEI’s even-numbered districts and the Affiliate division. The elected will be installed into office for two-year terms: Wayne Henderson of Gas Station Supply, Lynchburg, Virginia, (District 2); Tom Fassas of PetroTowery Inc., Richmond, Kentucky (District 4); Casey Kuppart of Mid-South Steel Products Inc., Cape Girardeau, Missouri (District 6); John Keller of Petroleum Solutions Inc., San Antonio, Texas (District 8); James Ayers of Central Illinois Mfg. Co., Bement, Illinois (District 10); Paola Bravo of S. Bravo Co., Commerce, California (District 12); and Liz Concannon of Petroleum Card Services, Minden, Nevada (Affiliate Division).
PEI Executive Vice President Rick Long’s annual State of the Industry presentation during the membership meeting included insights on where the industry is and where it’s headed. A video of this 25-minute address is available on PEI’s YouTube channel. Among key findings are:
- The portion of distributors’ and service and construction members’ business attributable to retail fueling declined from 56 percent to 52 percent in 2018.
- In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, distributors and service contractors rated 2018 a 7.45, up from 7.20 in 2017. Likewise on the same scale, manufacturers’ satisfaction rose from 6.87 to 7.49.
- More than 66 percent of distributors and contractors and nearly 60 percent of manufacturers plan to increase their workforce in 2019.
- Although only 3.5 percent of distributors and contractors are installing or servicing EV charging stations, another 15.8 percent are actively making plans to do so and 52.6 percent are evaluating whether they want to get into that work.
- Distributors and contractors expect traditional pay-at-the-pump credit card transactions to decline from 75 percent to 56 percent during the next five years as contactless mobile payment and in-dash payment apps gain ground.
Well-attended educational sessions covered industry topics including safety, fuel quality, corrosion, UL standards, electric vehicles, leadership and the economy. For the second year, nearly 100 Latin American members enjoyed a special education track conducted entirely in Spanish. Slides for many of the sessions may be downloaded here.
On behalf of the board of directors and the PEI staff, thanks to all of you who attended, exhibited and helped at this year’s convention. If you were a registered attendee, please complete the short, post-convention survey you’ll receive within the next few days. Your feedback will help PEI’s Education & Convention Committee better plan the 2019 PEI Convention, Oct. 1-4, in Atlanta.
EPA ISSUES PIPE DOPE GUIDANCE
The EPA recently published guidance on the compatibility of pipe dope with ethanol blends greater than 10 percent. The guidance is presented in the form of three Q&As in the Technical Compendium accompanying the 2015 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations. Here’s a quick summary.
- Must UST owners and operators demonstrate the compatibility of pipe dope in UST systems storing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent? Pipe dope is not included in the 2015 list of UST components for which compatibility must be demonstrated.
- Must pipe dope be compatible with higher ethanol blends if used as part of a system storing such fuel? Yes. 1988 and 2015 federal UST regulations required components in a UST system to be compatible with the substance stored.
- Is pipe dope typically compatible with ethanol blends greater than E10? The EPA believes that pipe dope used before 2007 probably is incompatible with higher level ethanol blends. In addition, many UST systems installed since 2007 used less expensive pipe dope compatible only with E10. Accordingly, an owner or operator looking to store ethanol blends greater than 10 percent in a system not specifically installed for that purpose “will presumably need to modify each threaded connection point where pipe dope seals the threads.” The EPA also acknowledged that some systems joints maybe buried and accessible only by excavation.
The complete pipe dope guidance may be found here.