December 28, 2023

Reminder: EVR Deadline 1 Year Away

For the last eighteen months, the Association has reported on the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) Enhanced Vapor Recovery ("EVR") upgrade mandate.

When we first touched on this topic over a year ago, and the December 23, 2024 deadline, the urgency to contact a reliable contractor and have the required work done may have seemed premature.

Nevertheless, as you read this we are at the start of 2024 and the deadline is now less than 12 months away.

As we it can take a protracted amount of time to have repairs and updates completed (never mind interviewing and retaining a reputable contractor) twelve months of lead time is not much time at all.

In taking a step back for anyone who has not read through our previous recounting of this, the EVR upgrades affect all locations with underground storage tanks (“USTs”) installed prior to December 23, 2017.

Any tanks installed on/after December 23, 2017 are unaffected; and should have had these enhancements made at the time of installation.

This means any station build before December 23, 2017, must upgrade to new, full EVR requirements by December 23, 2024.

For those locations requiring the upgrade, the update will include a California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) Certified Phase 1 system, and includes enhanced rotatable fill adapters, dust caps, spill buckets, hoses, and other requirements.

Any station that does not upgrade their facility by December 23, 2024 may face fines or penalties for non-compliance.

Looking to the recent past and a similar mandate deadline, we can find a correlation between the EVR upgrade and the implementation of the Stage II Vacuum Assist Vapor Recovery decommissioning (which ended on December 23, 2020). Like the current compliance update, the Stage II decommissioning was years in the making. However, many station owners waited until a few months before the deadline to contact a contractor and being the process. By that time, it was much too late. All the reputable contractors were committed to numerous upgrade projects throughout the state. There was no way for the contractors to complete the jobs that were contractually obligated to complete before starting the work on those stations that procrastinated and waited until the last second. Unsurprisingly, many of those locations received violations and paid hefty fines for their non-compliance.

Knowing this, the Association highly recommends all affected stations comply with the upcoming mandates now – 12 months ahead of the deadline. Any station with tanks installed before December 23, 2017 should contact their compliance vendor to inquire about the updates and schedule their completion immediately.

Even if you think that it’s okay to wait until the last second, remember that manpower and materials are often at a premium. Even if you find someone trustworthy to do the work, there’s nothing to guarantee against a shortage of knowledgeable staff or quality materials on hand by the time the project is complete. To avoid that scenario, and the higher costs that are likely to go with it, get the ball rolling and plan your upgrade today!

Final Reminder: Minimum Wage Increase

A reminder for you of the annual increase in the state minimum wage, effective on January 1st. For most employers the rate will increase from $14.13 an hour to $15.13 an hour. 

"Small employers" and "seasonal employers" will have a lower rate of $13.73 an hour (from $12.93). "Small” employers are defined as those with fewer than six employees. Seasonal employers are those in which “not less than two thirds of the employers’ gross receipts were received in a continuous period of not more than 16 weeks.” 

Remember to update your payroll company as they will not do it for you, and make sure the rate starts on January 1st or earlier, even if that occurs in the middle of a pay period.

The rate will continue to increase automatically based on inflation every January, unless more legislation is passed to increase it by a larger amount. This has been done in New York City already, and there is growing support among some Democrats in the Legislature here to do it here as well. 

In fact just two weeks ago, Gov. Murphy volunteered that he thought it should be increased yet again, phased in to as high as $20 an hour minimum (that's $30 an hour for overtime). With a larger Democratic majority in the Legislature after last month's elections, this is a very real possibility. 

Happy New Year!

The staff here at NJGCA wish you, your families, and your employees all the best in the New Year. Remember we are always here to help your business succeed and the industry prosper. Give us a call anytime, 732-256-9646 

ICYMI--Potential Solution to Labor Shortage?

In case you missed our webinar last week, you can now download and watch at your convenience by clicking HERE. You can also separately view the slide deck HERE

This was a webinar with a company called ShiftSmart, which can potentially help your business by giving you access to their workers to come in and work small shifts, whether as gas attendants, stocking shelves, or cleaning up the shop. You can find all the details in their presentation. 

Normally they only work with larger multisite companies, but we are considering a program to pool together our members to get access. We will only move forward if we have enough interest, so please contact if you are seriously interested (no need to formally commit, just serious interest). 

ICYMI--Notice of Official Visa/Mastercard Settlement

We've heard from a few members who have been receiving legal notices regarding a large, class action settlement implicating Visa, MasterCard, and several banks. The settlement claims that antitrust laws were violated and that merchants paid excessive fees. After years of litigation, a $5.54 billion settlement was reached.

Starting on December 1, 2023, claim notice forms began to be mailed to affected merchants, and will continue through January. The notice includes those businesses that accepted Visa and MasterCard branded cards from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019, and list the homepage to an official court-authorized settlement website. Also included in the notice is a summary of the number of transactions made, the monetary volume, and the estimated interchange fees that you originally paid.

If you receive a notice from the settlement, you may wish to consult legal counsel to advise on your participation. It should be noted that the window to join the class settlement agreement will expire on May 31, 2024, and no entity will receive funds without first filing a claim.

You can learn more about the accompanying details by CLICKING HERE or by visiting the official settlement agreement website by CLICKING HERE

News Worth Knowing:

Available Real Estate

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

Cape Harbor Shell

795 Route 109

Unit B

Lower Township, NJ, 08204

CLICK HERE to view the listing

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