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December 23, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  







As I'm sure you are all aware of right now - the Omicron variant of the COVID virus is here, spreading quickly, and taking over the minds of consumers and the media. Governor Murphy may change current virus measures and protocols amid this spread. NJGCA sent a letter to the governor this week asking him to prioritize the safety of our employees and not put the onus of responsibility on them for enforcing any mandates he may place on businesses. Having gone through this two years ago, we must be prepared for anything. Regardless of what public policy is or becomes in the next few days, please feel free to use our Best Practices guide from 2020 and refer back to our coronavirus website for more resources. All of this is good practice for your own safety and the safety of others. Debate continues around what resources are necessary to stop the spread of the virus and if the future of this whole ordeal will look similar to how we treat the flu, which we have been living with for ages. Despite this, there are some facts that are very clear: the flu never spread as quickly as COVID, and we also never saw overwhelmed hospitals and fatality counts from the annual flu season either. These are all factors that should mean you use caution regardless of your political views or current policy on this. Especially amid the holiday season, it is so important to keep yourselves, your families, your customers and your businesses safe and keep your businesses open. 


We continue to remind our members that on January 1, 2022 the minimum wage will increase for all workers in New Jersey. It will be set at $13.00 an hour. For an employer with fewer than six employees, the minimum is $11.90 an hour. If any of your employees are making less than this amount, make sure to inform your payroll company to increase their wages as they will not do it without your permission.


Finally, I want to wish all of our members a wonderful, safe and blessed Christmas. This is the time of year to share with family and count our blessings as we share generosity with others. Especially in these stressful times, I hope you are all able to enjoy the holiday with your families and loved ones. 


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753


ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  


Want to Buy a Car? You Might Have to Get on a Plane to Claim It

The shortage of computer chips, in large part caused by decisions made in the early days of the pandemic, has rippled through the auto industry this year. Manufacturers have had to close plants for lack of parts, leaving car dealers with millions fewer vehicles to sell. As a result, car buyers have had to travel hundreds of miles to find the vehicles they want, give up on haggling and accept higher prices, and even snap up used cars that have been repaired after serious accidents. The supply squeeze coincides with an apparent increase in demand. Some people are trying to avoid mass transit or taxis. Others simply want a vehicle. Many families have saved thousands of dollars thanks in part to government benefits and stimulus payments and because they have been spending less on travel, restaurant meals and other luxuries that have fallen by the wayside because of health concerns.


C-Stores Can Save Big on Energy Costs by Going Solar

There are many benefits to using solar energy-one of the greatest is that it can save money. It can also help in emergency situations, and it's a visible environmentally friendly signal to your community. This week's episode of Convenience Matters talks about the benefits, challenges and processes to getting started with solar. . . With most convenience stores being open 24 hours a day, can solar panels supply these businesses with enough power? Vincent's company can take the longitude and latitude of a location and project the amount of energy it would receive from solar-guaranteed.


EPA Raises Fuel Efficiency Standard for 2026 Vehicle Models

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday released final standards setting a new fuel efficiency standard for passenger cars and light-duty trucks, reports the Wall Street Journal. Auto manufacturers must meet a fleetwide average of 55 miles a gallon for cars and light trucks by model year 2026, up from the 43-miles-per-gallon standard set by the Trump Administration for that year. Vehicles that are model years 2023 to 2026 must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between 5% and 10% each year.


N.J. Adopts California's Clean Truck Rules Meant to Reduce Number of Diesels on the Road

State Environmental Protection officials adopted Advanced Clean Truck rules Monday that would make New Jersey the first east coast state to require phasing in of electric commercial trucks to reduce air pollution and the diseases it causes. The Advanced Clean Truck rule is modeled after regulations established in California and nearing adoption in several other states. The program is intended to increase the number of electric or zero-emissions trucks in the state.


N.J.'S Largest City Will Require Face Masks Indoors as COVID Cases Ramp Up

New Jersey's largest city is now requiring face masks be worn indoors in all public settings - a step beyond current state requirements that "strongly recommend" coverings regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka made the mandate official hours after the state announced over 6,000 cases for the sixth consecutive day.


Appellate Court Allows OSHA Vaccine-or-Test Rule to Advance

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on Friday lifted the stay that was preventing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) emergency rule from moving forward. The OSHA rule requires private-sector businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or to undergo weekly testing for the virus. In November, NACS filed suit to block the rule from going forward and is now joined by about two dozen business associations in that litigation. The NACS suit, along with one filed by multiple states, was originally filed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which entered a nationwide stay of the rule while the cases were being litigated. Those lawsuits, along with ones filed in every other U.S. circuit court of appeals, were consolidated into the 6th Circuit.


U.S. Gasoline Prices Fall a Little or A Lot, Depending Where You Are

U.S. gasoline prices have dropped in time for the major holiday driving season, but not everyone around the country is feeling the same relief at the pump. . . Gasoline industry sources interviewed say the market's volatility has made filling station owners wary of lowering prices that they'd only have to raise again later. In some states, prices vary widely. Not all retail stations adjusted prices after wholesale gasoline prices dropped, said Sal Risalvato, executive director of New Jersey's Gasoline, C-Store, and Automotive Association. He said some association members were concerned about lower prices after having refilled inventories at a higher cost, potentially exposing them to losses. The average price of gasoline in New Jersey last week was $3.413, only 4 cents lower than a month ago. "Some of them might have lost $2,400, which is not a small amount for a station," he said.



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  

Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.




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