Phone: 732-256-9646

Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Fwd: Road Warrior: UST Info, State Budget Looming

June 13, 2024

Association attends UST Compliance Seminar

Last month, NJGCA sent a notice out to members regarding the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJ DEP) UST Compliance Seminar in Hamilton. This is an event that typically takes place twice a year, and it is always helpful and informative. Last week our staffers attended that seminar, and we were glad to see a handful of members who took the time to participate.

The seminar was very well attended. There were a number of site owners, compliance companies, distributors, LSRPs, environmental consultants, and tank contractors on hand to hear directly from DEP officials and ask questions.

DEP's Compliance and Enforcement (C&E) staff attended the meeting in person, and offered up a number of “do this, don't do that” example scenarios to underscore how to handle specific situations, as well as reviewing standard practices.

Among the topics discussed were requirements for out of service tanks, permitting/permit extension requests, using (or trucking away) “dirty” dirt at your location, and more. For those members who were not able to attend in person, we thought to recap a few informational highlights, if only to make you peripherally aware of coming changes and mandates.

While we cannot fully dive into each presentation, we did want to stress two very important elements from the seminar:

Out of Service Tanks – 
This portion of the presentation was long, with lots of detailed information.  However, the biggest takeaway was that many station owners were not complying with the out of service tank requirements – and facing both fines and difficulties reopening their tanks after they decided to resume operating.

As a general overview, it should be noted that any tanks that are “Out of Service” are those UST systems that have not introduced or dispensed petroleum products for seven days; pending a decision to close or begin reuse of the system.  

In plain English that means that if you haven't pumped any fuel (or received any product deliveries) in seven days, your tanks are technically “Out of Service” and you are obligated to let DEP know.  

As part of that process, you will have to obtain an “Out of Service” certificate, but maintain your electricity at the facility (for monitoring purposes) and insurance at the location. Ultimately, you have approximately one year to decide on putting your tanks back into service. An additional one-year extension may be approved for double-walled tanks with interstitial monitoring (single wall tanks are not granted any extensions beyond a year), but only under specific conditions.

Once the tanks have been out of service for a year, with very few exceptions, the tanks must be pulled. It should be noted that this requirement applies to all tanks – whether they are 25 year old tanks or 5 year old tanks.

As a final thought, if you failed to let DEP know that your tanks are out of service, and a later investigation proves that your location was closed for a protracted period of time, state officials will impose costly fines. These fines are compounded daily, and will be calculated from the earliest date that DEP can prove you failed to report your out of service status.  

That's a costly proposition, and one that all station owners should wisely avoid with appropriate planning.

Expansion of Online UST Registration & Elimination of Paper Submissions – 
One thing that was repeatedly stressed is that DEP will no longer accept paper copies of the yearly Underground Storage Tank Facility Certification Questionnaire (“UST FCQ”); or what has colloquially been called your “annual UST registration”.  

You'll recall that we recently informed members that DEP had launched a new online registration process, that Department officials were seeking user feedback to make meaningful changes. Throughout that process it was clear that DEP would continue to accept physical, paper copies of the application, even as they strongly encouraged owners to shift to the online application system.

Last week, we were told that the online process has been refined further and that DEP would no longer accept paper applications in the mail.  Rather, all submissions and payments must be made online, only.

For anyone who has not familiarized themselves with the new online application process, and made their submission “the old-fashioned way” last year, that option has now evaporated. From now on, when you make a submission, it must be online.  

If you haven't done so already, please familiarize yourself with the portal so as to prevent any delays when your yearly registration is due.  

Getting your application in on time not only helps you avoid additional fees, but also preventatively stops DEP from issuing a delivery ban at your location.

Have any questions on the above, or need help understanding the process for online submission, please feel free to contact Nick at or 732-256-9646 for additional details. 

State Budget Deadline Approaches, Tax Hikes Loom

There has been little public word about the state of New Jersey's annual budget the last few weeks, but details are starting to slip out. By law, a balanced budget must be passed by the end of June 30th, and the Budget Committees are expecting to start the process in just a week and a half, on June 24. One consistent theme is that the state does not have enough revenue to cover it's spending. The budget's rainy day fund is expected to be drawn down somewhat, and there are discussions of some small cuts around the edges of programs, but no major spending cuts have been proposed by the Governor or Legislative leaders. 

The most likely tax increase still appears to be an extra 2.5% surcharge on c-corporations making more than $10 million in profit per year. While this won't affect our members directly, you can generally expect to see it passed on in the form of higher prices at places like Home Depot, Amazon, and Walmart. It also now looks like this tax increase will be applied to the utility companies, unlike the last surcharge. We can expect they will seek to pass on that increase to the ratepayer as well. 

NJ already has the highest, or very near the highest, income tax, corporate tax, fuel tax, and property tax. The only major tax we are fairly middle of the road on is the sales tax, so naturally an increase there has been under major discussion this year. The sales tax was cut down to 6.625% as part of the tax reform deal that raised the gas tax in 2016. Now legislators are considering whether they should increase it back to 7%, instead of or possibly in addition to the corporate tax surcharge. 

This week the Assembly Speaker, Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), suggested he didn't think it was the right time to increase that tax, given the public's concerns over inflation. Still, that doesn't mean there won't be pressure from either the Senate President or the Governor to do so. While the entire Assembly is on the ballot next November, all the Senators do not have to face voters until 2027, and Gov. Murphy is a lame duck. If they feel next year's budget will need a revenue increase too, perhaps they'd prefer just raising the tax this year and giving the public 18 months to get used to it before facing an election.

Expect this one to go down to the wire, as it always done. We will be closely monitoring developments in case they get any ideas to increase taxes on your business directly. 

Rack Averages

Date Rack Avg Avg w Taxes Low Rack
06/06 240.32 $3.0102 231.38
06/07 238.69 $2.9939 229.97
06/10 240.74 $3.0144 232.39
06/11 240.51 $3.0121 231.64
06/12 239.57 $3.0027 231.24
Date Avg Retail Avg Margin Diesel Rack Avg
06/06 $3.49 0.52 238.28
06/07 $3.48 0.47 237.84
06/10 $3.46 0.47 244.01
06/11 $3.46 0.44 244.85
06/12 $3.45 0.44 246.49

News Worth Knowing:

Member Benefit Partner (MBP) Spotlight: MinorDecliner

Selling tobacco products to the public brings an inherent risk that an underage patron (or an undercover government official posing as an underage customer) may attempt to make a purchase illegally.  

The unlawful, underage sale of such products brings hefty penalties and unwanted regulatory attention.  What's more, if a retailer becomes a repeated offender, they could potentially lose their ability to sell tobacco products and have their tobacco license revoked.

If you have to defend yourself against such an allegation, you'll likely need to retain legal counsel, spending time away from your establishment, and consuming thousands of dollars in funds and resources.

MinorDecliner, a new Member Benefit Partner (MBP), offers hardware and services aimed at taking the guess work out of age verification and loss prevention.  

The system offers a unique, fast ID scan solution for entrepreneurs to utilize and avoid an unlawful sale to underage patrons.  It is quick, easy, and can read license barcodes from all fifty states; warning business owners of an expired license or pending sale to a minor.

This solution reduces the chance for “human error” when checking out.  The device also records/saves information during a scan. This can be used later if a fine is issued or legal action arises (thereby providing a record to illustrate that you were doing your diligence in checking/identifying a fake ID).

Do you want to add a layer of protection to avoid an unlawful or unintentional sale to a minor? 

If you reach out to Ron, mention that you're a Member to receive an exclusive NJGCA-only discount! 

Contact:  Ron Tobb, 443-681-0228, 

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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