Three Victories for NATSO Members at NCWM

Marking a major victory for fuel retailers, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) adopted favorable policies on three topics on which NATSO advocated during the critical "voting session" of its Annual Meeting the week of July 25. NATSO testified at the Conference on the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE), the 10 micron filter for slow diesel pumps and the one pound RVP waiver.

 
Below is a brief overview of these three topics:
 
1) Definition of Diesel Gallon Equivalent -- The Conference adopted a proposal that NATSO and other industry groups had long supported that will allow fuel retailers to market and advertise liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) on a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) basis.  This standard enables motorists to readily compare natural gas fuels with diesel fuel.  The standard compliments the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard for CNG that has been in place for more than 20 years.  Retailers are permitted to market CNG on either a DGE or CNG basis.  The adoption of this standard fills a void for LNG, which although sold by most retailers in DGE units, previously lacked a uniformly recognized standard.
 
In addition to providing a common-sense unit of sale for fuel retailers, the DGE standard provides consistency with federal taxation methods and creates efficiencies associated with accounting and record-keeping requirements.  
 
2) Ten Micron Filter for Slow-Flow Diesel Pumps -- The Conference again voted down a proposal to tighten diesel dispenser filtration requirements with a flow rate of less than 15 gallons per minute.  Currently a 30 micron filter is required for such pumps; the proposal would have replaced that with a 10 micron filter requirement.  NATSO and other retail groups successfully advocated that NCWM reject the measure.
 
The issue has become representative of a much larger discussion involving diesel fuel specifications and cleanliness. With new diesel engine technologies developing, many engine manufacturers are calling for a cleaner diesel product.  NATSO has argued that instead of debating this topic at the National Conference on Weights and Measures, the appropriate venue for this debate should be at ASTM International, which is a body responsible for setting fuel specifications.  NATSO's view is that a comprehensive solution to diesel cleanliness should be adopted that considers all entities in the supply chain -- not a selective, burdensome filter regulation at NCWM that only targets small businesses at the end of the supply chain.
 
3) One Pound RVP Waiver -- The Conference approved a proposal to extend the "one pound waiver" for E10 gasoline for one year.  EPA requires that the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of gasoline cannot exceed 9.0 psi in areas that are in environmental "attainment" during summer months, and 7.8 psi in areas that are not in environmental attainment.  The one pound waiver, which is critical to the fungibility of gasoline, enables E10 to exceed these RVP limits by 1.0 psi.  The Conference extended the one pound waiver until May 1, 2017.
 
The National Conference on Weights and Measures is comprised of the various state weights and measures officials.  Although its voting items do not have the power of law per se, many states adopt the Conference's rules and standards, which makes it a very important and powerful organization for NATSO members. 
David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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