CSP Delivers Annual Top 101 C-Store List for 2016

Posted by - General

For the third year in a row CSP Magazine has released the Top 101 Convenience Store List.

The list is ranked by the companies store count in the United States and Canada.  There is a lot of great information about each company in a brief overview as well as some great facts like the average store size, states that they operate in, and company website links.  CSP has also provided links for the 5 biggest movers on this years list and the 2014 and 2015 Top 101 C-Store List as well.

Congratulations to all our friends and customers on the list!

Check Out the List →

Cold Weather Affects your Car and your UST

Posted by - General, PASS Tools

Cold Weather UST maintenanceThe seasons have changed and the temperature has dropped.  This change in temperature effects both the fuel consumer and the gas station that we get our fuel from.  Lets take a quick look at how it can impact both.

Fuel Efficiency

For fuel consumers, cold weather means waiting until the last moment to stop and get out of the car, into the cold air to fill up our tanks.  But this is a small inconvenience compared to how the cold temperatures affect our fuel economy.

A fuel economy test conducted by the US Department of Energy stated that for short trips at 20F an unleaded gasoline automobile can get 12% less gas milage than that same trip at 77F.  Hybrid cars are even more affected with a 31% to 41% drop in fuel efficiency.  You can read up on some tips to improve efficency in the cold months here.

Diesel Gelling

Another negative aspect of cold weather for the consumer is diesel fuel gelling.  Fuel gelling occurs when very cold temperatures cause the diesel fuel to turn into a gel-like substance.  As you can imagine, gel will not flow through the fuel filter which can cause it to block up fuel lines and clog tanks.  Once the fuel has gelled in the fuel filter, the engine will not run.  The fix for diesel fuel gelling comes from fuel distributors, who supply a winter blend of diesel that has a lower cloud point as well as additives, both of which are designed to prevent gelling, and there are also a variety of diesel fuel additives for our vehicles that will minimize or eliminate the gelling problem.

Gas Stations – Cold Weather UST Maintenance

Cold weather effects the gas stations as well.  This time of year it is very important that you paying extra close attention not only your USTs, but also your leak detection devices, sump, and electrical conduits.  Water freezing and thawing can have a huge impact on these systems and components, Cold Weather UST maintenance and inspections are a must.

If water gets into your electrical conduit, or spill bucket and it freezes, it can cause extensive damage to the functioning of your line leak detectors, sensor probes or pumps.  Make sure to check all of your fittings and seals regularly to make sure that water can not leak into these areas.

The ground can move during the freeze and thaw cycles.  This can create major problems underground with risers cracking allowing water to enter the tank, fitting failures, and pipes breaking or cracking.

Checking for water in your tanks is crucial all year long, but water in your tank can cause more problems with your system during this cold weather season because of its ability to freeze and it is also a sign of a leak or malfunction that needs to be addressed.

Your leak detection devices may let you know if something catastrophic happens,  but it is important to inspect these devices regularly to ensure proper functionality so they will be ready to alarm if a problem arises.  As always, PASS Tools can help you keep up with the winter weather compliance and inspections.
Learn More about PASS Tools →

CSD publishes 40 Leaders 40 and Under for 2016

Posted by - General

Convenience Store Decisions - 40 under 40Convenience Store Decisions (CSD) and the Young Executives Organization (YEO) have came together again and compiled this year’s 40 Leaders 40 and Under.

As a youthful company ourselves, it is very refreshing for us at PASS to read these leaders stories.  The passion and dedication that they show for our industry and their involvement in community and charity organizations is amazing. Congratulations to those who made this years class of 40 and Thank you to all the other leaders out there working hard to keep carving a path for this industry.

If you have not had a chance to check this article out, you can check it out here →

Trying to call Us? Make sure you have the Right Number!

Posted by - General


We just completed the process of upgrading our phone system, and decided to consolidate numbers, getting rid of our toll-free, 866, number.

For many years toll-free numbers were a necessary service to provide for customers, but with the advent of cell phones and free nationwide calling, have really began going the way of the Dodo.

Having multiple numbers can also be a point of confusion, so we wanted to make it easy by giving you a direct way to get ahold of us.

We have made every effort to remove the number from our site and materials and replace it with our main number, 765-281-5588, which we have also had since the beginning. If you catch our 866 number hanging around anywhere give us a shout.

Why Should I Care if I Have Water in my UST?

Posted by - General, PASS Tools

Water in your UST has negative effects on both diesel fuel and gasoline, but in different ways.  Let’s take a look at both.

Ethanol Blended Gasoline

Over 90% of gasoline sold in the United States today is blended with ethanol, the most common being E-10, or a 10% blend. When water is present in a UST system it is absorbed by the ethanol and settles to the bottom of the tank.  The resulting solution is called phase separation, and it only takes as little as 0.5% of water concentration to occur. Temperature is also a factor, meaning that the colder it is, the less water present it takes to kick start the separation.

Phase separation is bad news. It can cause engines to stall, or even worse, damage them. It’s corrosive properties can also damage UST systems/equipment. This causes big problems not only for customers, but the owner/operator as well.

Diesel Fuel

Fungi, yeast and other bacteria can easily enter a diesel system via the air or water, and since diesel is an organic it serves as the perfect food source for these tiny bugs, and water only makes that environment even more friendly.  It only takes a water level of roughly a millimeter thick to encourage microbial growth inside of the tank, with biodiesel being especially vulnerable.

Microbial growth not only degrades the quality and integrity of the fuel, it also leads to corrosion of any of the the metallic components of the UST system.

How Does Water Get Inside My UST?

There are a number of different ways water can get into your UST system. Some of the most common include:

  • Loose/leaking tank top fittings/spill buckets
  • Tank condensation due to temperature changes
  • Contaminated gasoline from your distributor
  • For new tanks, ballast water that was errantly left inside
  • Holes/cracks in the tank/piping
  • Entry from the tank vent

How Do I Fix it?

If you find or suspect water in your tank,  contact your maintenance company immediately, but ultimately early detection is the key to minimizing problems with your system. Upgrades to sensors and equipment can help, but regularly scheduled inspections and testing are MUST, and PASS can help.

Learn More about PASS Inspection Services →

Water for Thought – A Tale of USTs and Public Drinking Water

Posted by - General, UST Inspections

UST water pollution
We all know that a leaking UST is not a good thing, but have you ever wondered how that it could effect your community?  I stumbled across an article from the EPA published last month that really got me thinking.

A community in Rougemont, NC has been dealing with the effects of multiple petroleum releases from USTs for the past 20 years.  On September 22, 2016 this community was actually able to breath a sigh of relief because they are now connected to a unique water system that provides safe drinking water to their homes and businesses.

For years this community has been using alternative water sources and having their wells tested quarterly as a temporary solution.  We can sometimes take for granted the ability to go to our sink and fill up a glass of water, but not this community, they have waited 20 years to be able to safely do that.

Construction of the new, award winning water system began in October 2015 and was finally completed this past September.  It was paid for by a combination of federal, state, and county money and grants, in the upwards of 2.6 million dollars.

I would like to take a moment to express the importance of monitoring and inspecting your USTs regularly.  Early detection is key in preventing instances like this in your community.  Help us to protect our communities and the generations to come, these spills can not be cleaned up or fixed overnight and can affect communities like the one above for many years after the initial release.  We know keeping up with your UST compliance and inspections can be a difficult, but PASS can help.

Learn More about PASS Inspection Services →

Updates to Illinois Stage II Vapor Recovery Decommissioning

Posted by - General, Regulatory Updates

An Update from the Illinois Petroleum Marketeer Association: IPMA-IACS

Gasoline Dispensing Facilities that Have Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems Must Decommission the Equipment by December 31, 2016:

Stage II vapor recovery systems have been required at most Chicago area retail and commercial gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF) located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, along with Oswego Township in Kendall County, and Goose Lake and Aux Sable Townships in Grundy County, since the mid-1990s. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) determined that onboard refueling vapor recovery technology is now present in enough motor vehicles such that the onboard vapor recovery systems on the vehicles can now replace the dispenser-based Stage II equipment.

On December 19, 2013 the Illinois Pollution Control Board adopted rules to: (1) eliminate the Stage II equipment installation requirements for new GDFs; and (2require existing retail and commercial GDFs that have Stage II systems to decommission the equipment by December 31, 2016.

At least ten (10) days prior to the start of decommissioning activities at the facility, a Notice of Intent to Decommission Stage II Vapor Recovery Equipment form must be submitted to the Illinois EPA. The Stage II systems must be decommissioned using one or more contractors that have the appropriate licenses and registrations with the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Weights & Measures.  Extensions cannot be given and facilities should schedule contractors to complete the decommissioning as soon as possible to meet the December 31, 2016 deadline.

The Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (IL SBEAP) at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity provides services to help companies understand their environmental requirements. For additional information about Stage II equipment decommissioning requirements visit: www.ildceo.net/enviro.  For questions, contact the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program at 800-252-3998 or dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov.



PEI RP100 Update Scheduled for Next Year

Posted by - General, Regulatory Updates

PEI RP100The PEI Recommended Practices for Installation of Underground Liquid Storage Systems better known as PEI RP100, is getting a makeover. This publication covers the engineering and construction of Underground Liquid Storage Systems, including layout and trenches, flow shut-off devices, transition sumps, automatic line-leak detectors, secondary containment, and water management. The current publication is  the 2011 edition.  There have been 8 revisions of the original 1986 publication.

Some of the major changes were made specifically to:

  • Chapter 7 – Spill Containment and Overfill Protection
  • Chapter 8 – Secondary Containment
  • Chapter 9 – Release Detection

These changes actually came from issues that were raised by the public and then reviewed and resolved by PEI’s Tank Installation Committee. The meeting to discuss these changes was on September 27th and 28th in San Antonio, Texas.  Because such extensive changes were made, PEI is planning on the new edition of PEI RP100 to be available in February of 2017.  For more information on PEI RP100,  visit PEI’s website.

PEI RP900 Revisions Expected December 2016, Including the New Appendix D

Posted by - Regulatory Updates, UST Inspections

PEI RP900PEI‘s UST System Inspection and Maintenance Committee met in Chicago at the beginning of September to discuss the revision of Recommended Practices for the Inspection and Maintenance of UST Systems, better known as  PEI RP900.

Updates have been made and the revised edition is scheduled for December 2016.  This publication was listed by the EPA as a code of practice to meet their walkthrough inspection and maintenance requirements.  A public comment period is open until October 14, 2016 for any interested parties to comment on the newly created Appendix D.

What is PEI RP900 Appendix D?

Over the years it’s become apparent that water in tanks is becoming one of the most troublesome issues UST owners/operators face today. With that in mind Appendix D has been created to address the prevention and remediation of water inside of USTs.

The latest draft suggests that some of the testing methods we are currently using are not effective enough at detecting water. Let’s review a few of their findings.

Any unevenness at the bottom of the tank or strike plates may give the water a place to hide from your testing equipment.  It is being recommended to test at multiple locations in your tank and as far away from the tanks fill riser as you can.

ATGs usually only detect 1/2 inch of water or more, so it’s important to use an additional detection method such as gauge sticks, vacuum sampling, or remote video inspection. For diesel fuel it’s important to regularly test microbe levels, which are an indicator that water is present.

For more information on Appendix D, as well as the other changes/updates to PEI RP900, visit PEI’s website.

If you find or suspect water in your tank,  contact your maintenance company immediately, but ultimately early detection is the key to minimizing problems with your system. Upgrades to sensors and equipment can help, but regularly scheduled inspections and testing are MUST, and PASS can help.


Learn More about PASS Inspection Services →



Utah Proposes Changes to UST Regulations

Posted by - Regulatory Updates

Utah DEQ - Utah UST RegulationsOn September 8th the Utah DEQ approved changes to the Utah UST rules to satisfy the new/additional requirements outlined in the updates to 40CFR280 last year. These changes are now submitted for publication and public comment.

A comment session on the changes made will be held Monday, October 17, 2016 at the Utah DEQ, Multi-Agency State Office Building, Room 1015, 195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Some of the changes put forward include:

  • Secondary containment required for all new tanks, piping, and dispensers
  • testing of spill prevention equipment, overfill prevention devices, and containment sumps used for interstitial monitoring
  • Periodic operation and maintenance walkthrough inspections.
  • Annual testing/inspection of electronic and mechanical release detection  components
  • New secondary containment requirements will apply to installations/replacements on or after January 1, 2017
  • Leak detection now required for emergency generator tanks
  • Full regulation of airport hydrant systems and field-constructed tanks

More details including a summary of the changes can be found here.

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