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Fwd: Road Warrior: New Labor Mandate, Bad Lottery Ticket Design, UST Registrations

May 9, 2024

Burdensome Heat Standard Rules Proposed

On Monday NJGCA was one of several business groups to raise the alarm in response to a wide-reaching new bill that was being heard in the Senate Labor Committee. S-2422 would establish a series of new regulations aimed at protecting employees working in “excessive” heat, whether outside or inside. While well intentioned and perhaps necessary in some instances or industries, the protections are very costly if not unworkable for businesses, and the penalties are massive. 

The bill would require that when it's hot out, employers would be required to bring on more staff, to provide employees paid rest breaks, and to reduce shift lengths. Imagine if, because of our full-serve mandate, you had to shut down gas sales periodically, even though the employee is doing light work in the shade. In Oregon, the rule is that during any two-hour period the worker must be given a ten-minute paid break to rest. Also in Oregon, authorities have suspended the full-serve mandate entirely on days of excessive heat, which does not seem to be an option under current NJ law. We also know that there aren't enough auto repair technicians out there for every shop to bring in more help on hot days. What about tow truck drivers, are they not going to be able to get cars off the road because they're on a break? Employers would be required to provide 32oz an hour of drinking water at a temperature of 59 degrees or less–61 degree water would be a fineable offense. 

Basically any employer that has an employee who steps foot outside for any reason from May through October would be bound by these rules, and would be required to come up with a dedicated written 'heat plan', that all employees would have to be trained on once per year. All documents, including copies of old heat plans would need to be kept for at least 6 years. The penalty for losing your outdated copy of your heat plan from 5 years ago may include imprisonment for 10-90 days.

If an employee mentions offhand they are concerned that it's hot out, and then their shift schedule gets changed 85 days later for genuine business reasons, they can claim it was discrimination under this law and the employer is now presumed guilty and needs to prove their innocence. The employee would also be given a private right of action to sue the employer. The Labor Commissioner would also be able to issue a stop work order for a violation of this bill, for every single site location (even those which could be in compliance with the bill), with the employer being required to pay all employees' regular wages for 10 days. It effectively blackmails employers to plead guilty even if they are innocent, just to get back to business. 

And in amendments to the bill on the morning of, the definition of “excessive heat” was lowered from 90 degrees outside or 87 degrees inside, to just 80 degrees, which seems to cover virtually every single day of June, July, and August. Some would also describe an 80 degree, breezy day as quite pleasant, as we've seen just this week. 

We will keep you posted on the status of the bill as it moves forward. The sponsor has said he is willing to consider meaningful amendments, but we'll see if this bill is salvageable. 4 states have already adopted some kind of heat standard. 

You can read more HERE and read the testimony NJGCA provided HERE

NJGCA Opposes New Lottery Ticket Design

Earlier this week we were contacted by several members who were justifiably upset by a new ticket design being released by the NJ Lottery Commission. As part of a new promotion called “It's a Jersey Thing” they advertise some of the 'perks' of the state, one of which is “NO SELF SERVICE” with a gas pump. 

It's inappropriate for the Commission to be wading into that or arguably any political dispute. It’s one thing when a t-shirt shop on the boardwalk is selling it, it’s something else entirely when a State entity does it. Safe to say the Commission wouldn’t issue a “MAGA” branded ticket, even if it would sell well to some.

This ticket will, in effect, lead to some retailers being forced to advertise and promote a public policy message that they strongly object to. A message which in many cases they have previously protested publicly against. 

We have asked the Commission to cancel this version of the ticket and take back any existing tickets from retailers at no cost. You can read our letter HERE. We will update you when we hear back. 

A Note on the New Online UST FCQ Registration

Months ago, NJGCA brought you news that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was working to revise the yearly Underground Storage Tank Facility Certification Questionnaire (“UST FCQ”) submission process.

This process, which is commonly known as yearly “tank registration”, has often been frustrating for members. Completing the application and submitting payment aside, the questionnaire must also include a copy of the owner's entire insurance policy.  A PDF copy of that policy must also be emailed to a specific email address, and then the entire package (UST FCQ, check, and insurance policy together) are sent to Trenton for processing.  

The frustration doesn't end there, because the package is actually split between two departments. In a normal annual renewal, your submission is actually sent first to the Division of Revenue in the Treasury Department (where your check is processed), and then is forwarded along to DEP's UST Registration & Billing Unit (for further review and approval).

This created a cloud of confusion over the process. That's because once a station owner saw that their check was cashed, they believed the registration was renewed – and there was nothing further to worry about.  Yet, the process wasn't actually completed. That's because the FCQ itself needed to be reviewed, and any errors needed to be corrected and cured before final approval (with many of our members stating that they were never contacted/informed of those lapses or errors).

Thankfully, as part of a larger effort to speed up this process and eliminate the “old way” of completing your yearly tank registration, DEP has been testing and refining an online application and payment portal.

The new process requires each owner to have an NJDEPOnline ( account. You may already have an account registered on the site, as the existing Community Right to Know (CRTK) program and your air permit are both processed through this page.

Once logged in, there is an admittedly complex process to add the UST FCQ application to your dashboard; then complete the application, upload a PDF of your insurance policy, and make an online payment. But any such challenges are only an issue the first time you complete the process. What's more, you can save your progress along the way to ask questions or get clarification; then pick right back up from your last session upon your return.

This week we had the opportunity to help a member with the new process. We hit a small obstacle and had some questions for DEP that needed to be answered before the application could be submitted. Candidly, it took an extra few days to get the information we needed (the staffer was out on PTO). But, by the time we circled back to our member, he reverted to filling the old paper FCQ by hand, cut a physical check, copied his entire insurance policy, and sent the package via overnight delivery.

Keep in mind, the application is due by June 30th, and there was plenty of time to spare. But the frustration and anxiety with the new online system got the better of them.

Don't let this example happen to you – have patience and take advantage of the online submission process. Think back to some of the horror stories we've shared (and you have personally experienced) over the years during the annual submission process. Applications that have gone missing, checks that were not received, station insurance policy information, missing pages, etc. Any scenario you can think of, we've heard about. And each type of delay only pushes back your tank registration approval, and may actually trigger a delivery ban if not cured by the deadline.

It is true that the online FCQ asks a few extra pieces of information than is sought in the paper FCQ registration, so you have to set aside extra time the first time you're filling it out in order to answer everything correctly. However, unless you've made changes to your existing UST system from the last submission to the next, every annual submission thereafter is easy and quick to submit. That's because you're essentially duplicating the previous year's application and re-submitting it.

The bottom line: Have patience, put in the time, fill out the questionnaire properly online; and every submission thereafter will be less involved.  

The new online submission process is an enormous advantage over the old process.  If you have any questions or need some guidance, please feel free to reach out to Nick at at your convenience.

Reminder: Credit Card Settlement Coming Due

We've discussed it a few times these last few months, but don't forget to file your application to get a cut of the settlement money from the lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard. The deadline is May 31st. You should have responded to a claim offer mailed to you, but if you didn't get one back in January you can apply through the website HERE. You can read more details in this informative article HERE. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Nick via or 732-256-9646.

Reminder DEP UST Compliance Seminar Coming Up

The NJ DEP has announced they are having another dedicated seminar to discuss UST compliance rules and enforcement policies. There will be time for Q&A with enforcement officials and plenty of chances to talk directly with DEP officials. 

Both NJGCA staff and other members who have attended these events have found them useful and worthwhile. This will be especially true with the EVR upgrade requirements coming through, and other changes they are considering making. 

It is free to attend, and make sure you register since this event sold out last time and is already at nearly 80% capacity. It is being held on Thursday June 6th from 9am-12:30pm, at the NJ Forensic Science Technology Center, 1200 Negron Drive, Hamilton. You can register HERE.

Reminder: Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Election is Tuesday

If you've experienced a change in address since the last election, or if you'd like to participate in a different party's primary, the deadline to change your registration is this Tuesday. You can check your registration status or be directed to the forms necessary to change your information HERE. There are very competitive Democratic primaries this year in the 3rd (Burlington, Mercer, and western Monmouth counties), 8th (Hudson County), and soon the 10th (urban areas of Essex and Union) congressional districts. The future member of Congress from these areas is likely to be determined in the primary so make sure you vote on June 4th!

Rack Averages

Date Rack Avg Avg w Taxes Low Rack
05/02 260.35 $3.2105 251.16
05/03 256.88 $3.1758 246.90
05/06 259.26 $3.1996 249.71
05/07 254.84 $3.1554 245.24
05/08 253.16 $3.1386 244.31
Date Avg Retail Avg Margin Diesel Rack Avg
05/02 $3.61 0.41 248.89
05/03 $3.62 0.41 248.82
05/06 $3.64 0.46 250.30
05/07 $3.64 0.44 250.76
05/08 $3.63 0.48 251.67

News Worth Knowing:

Member Benefit Partner (MBP) Spotlight: Able-Tech

ABLE-TECH has been involved in the gasoline, auto repair, and c-store industries for over 30 years, providing the following products and services:

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE & COMPUTERS: Able-Tech provides onsite installation, training, and data conversion services for a variety of software programs. Whether you have a repair shop, c-store, or gas-only facility, our industry-specific approach assures you of getting the most from computer-based management. Their systems are scalable to fit the needs from single-site dealers to jobber-wholesalers. They offer Quickbooks customization and training. Repair shops can learn to use Quickbooks as a stand-alone workorder solution or interfaced with existing repair shop programs. Able-tech is an authorized reseller of Hewlett Packard business-class computers and associated hardware.

BUSINESS CONSULTING: Sharing extensive industry experience, we help owners with bookkeeping, business management, profit analysis, inventory shrink review, theft evaluation and prevention, and buy/sell advice.

VIDEO SYSTEMS: Their solutions encompass traditional or hi-resolution systems, interfacing with POS and ATM transactions, plus sound recording. They also service or upgrade existing systems. 

Contact: Dan Goff, 800-231-9969, 

Available Real Estate

Cape Harbor Shell

**Price Reduction**

795 Route 109, Unit B, Lower Township, NJ, 08204

Contact: Jerry 609-425-8837 

Click HERE to view listing

Station for Sale

Thriving High Profit Gas/Service Station close to Major Highway in Prime Location. 

This Exclusive Gas Station is the Sole Provider in the entire town, achieving a remarkable fuel profit of up to and sometimes over 1$ a gallon. Consistently selling 45,000 gallons monthly. Most fuel customers come from Highway so fuel prices do not have to be competitive. 

Also included with the Property is a Reputable High End Auto Repair Facility. Repair shop has all required Specialty and Diagnostic Tools for servicing mostly High End Vehicles. Advertising is no longer used do to an enormous Demand and large Customer Base. Repair Business has has potential for increased profitability and expansion, the business is open to experienced buyers for a possible partnership or profit sharing arrangement. Location is 1 out of 100. Fuel sales make 20-40K a month and repairs can do the same with the right operator. 

This one of a kind opportunity can include seller financing for those with High-Level Automotive or Gas Station Experience.

Contact Greg

Our Road Warrior newsletter is brought to you by the following Member Benefit Partners:

New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association
615 Hope Road, Bldg. 2, 1st Floor
Eatontown, NJ 07724


Phone: 732-256-9646

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