January 25, 2024

Troubles Grow for Station with Bad Gas

Last week we touched on a station in Camden that prepped poorly for the influx of rain, which infiltrated their tanks and created havoc with motorists and regulators.

As a follow-up, we recently learned that the station owner now faces $25,000 in fines for selling “adulterated fuel” to the public, the number of affected cars has risen to 39 vehicles, and that the station’s water detection system was not working properly.

You can read more about it by clicking HERE.

There are all kinds of takeaway lessons to learn from this situation; and a stark warning to our members on what NOT to do.  

And yet, this sad situation isn’t over yet, and there is likely more negative news coming for the owner.  

As if the bad publicity, extraordinary out-of-pocket costs for fixing 39 cars, costly tank remediation, and extended business shut down were not enough, it should be noted that the $25,000 fine is from Weights & Measures alone. Meaning, further fines and penalties are likely to be forthcoming from other government regulators; not the least of which is the Department of Environmental Protection and local civil authorities. 

The fact that it's gotten news coverage only makes things worse--not just in terms of lost customers, but because it creates pressure on the government to be seen as acting, and acting harshly. 

Everyone reading this should be thinking this through as it relates to our own location, preparedness, and internal procedures. We've also heard of another location in Morris County who had the same problem because of the same storm, though it hasn't been in the news (yet). 

What would you do in this situation?  What should you being doing now to avoid something like this happening at your shop? As always you can talk to Nick@njgca.org or Joe@njgca.org 732-256-9646

Update on Cigarette Legal Signs

If you sell cigarettes, then you likely have had (or soon will) the experience of someone coming into your location and putting up a bunch of signs with anti-tobacco messages. This is the result of a settlement the tobacco companies made with US Justice Dept back in July 2022 over a long-running lawsuit. 

Some of the reports we've heard recently from our national counterparts are that the people the tobacco manufacturers have hired to put up these signs are not the friendliest or most informative, and store employees can often be left confused as to who these people are and why they're doing this. To make matters worse, store owners can be fined for not fully and properly displaying this signage. 

The program is structured so that after one person puts up the signs at a location, they report it and an inspector comes to check it out and ensure proper compliance. If a store owner gets a fine and feels it is unfair, there is an appeals process. But we are hearing that so far the appeal panel is stacked with anti-tobacco forces, and they have been strict about extracting fines from business owners. 

In one case, part of the sign was covered up by another sign, but there was a portion of the sign that was just colors, there was no informative text being covered. In another case, someone had thrown a brick through the store's window not long before the inspector came by. Even though there was no window to hang the sign in, the store owner was still given a fine for not having the sign in the window. In both cases these fines were appealed, and in both cases the fines were upheld. 

So the lesson is to make very sure that once these signs get posted, they remain fully exposed at all times. These signs need to remain up for about 18 more months. You can read some more details about this program in these FAQs from NACS prepared last year HERE and HERE

Reminder: Compliance Calendars Available Now

The 2024 New Jersey Fuel Dispensing Facilities Compliance Calendar is now available for members to download and use.

You can find the file hosted on our website by CLICKING HERE.  

The DEP's compliance calendar is an essential tool, and we encourage our members to use it daily. It is full of useful reminders, procedures, and related details.  You should print out a copy, record the required information, and keep it close on hand.  Using the calendar isn't only a good habit to have, it will also save you from possible headaches and costly penalties if DEP comes to your station inquiring after your environmental compliance.  

Please call or email Nick@njgca.org if you have any questions. 

Rack Averages

DateRack AvgAvg w TaxesLow Rack
DateAvg RetailAvg MarginDiesel Rack Avg

News Worth Knowing:

Member Benefit Partner (MBP) Spotlight: Spark Contractors

Since 1959, Spark Contractors has been providing services to privately owned businesses, general contractors, marinas, major oil companies, municipalities within New Jersey and nearby states, as well as the State of New Jersey itself and the US Government. Trust them to work with you on your project, knowing you can depend on their broad knowledge and expertise that only comes from over five decades and 4 generations of experience. They offer:
- Installation and maintenance of underground and above ground tanks, piping and dispensing
equipment for commercial, industrial, military, government, FBO and retail fueling facilities.
- Tank cleaning, fuel sampling and testing and treatments.
- Annual Compliance Testing and Monthly Walkthrough Inspections.
- ATG installation, calibration and certification (Veeder Root, Incon, Omntec, Ronan)
- Meter calibration (proving, custody transfer, retail)
- Stage 2 decommissioning and Air Permitting Assistance.

Contact: Brent Ruga, 609-476-2175 Brent@sparkcontractors.com www.sparkcontractors.com  

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
eMail: info@njgca.org