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July 27, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Employee Retention Credit Scams: Don’t Get Fooled

UPS To Avoid Strike

Credit Card Competition Act To Be Voted On

NJGCA Takes Members Out To The Ballgame!

NJDEP Enhanced Vapor Recovery Upgrade Reminder

MBP Spotlight: Lisko Environmental

Employee Retention Credit Scams

The IRS recently sent out an alert about scams tied to the Employee Retention Credit and we thought to make our members aware of it. Your accountant should have already made you aware of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which was created by Congress during COVID to help small businesses. Scammers are taking to advertising methods, direct mail solicitations and online promotions to try to trick small businesses into handing over their funds. Anyone who improperly claims the ERC will have to pay it back, possibly with penalties and interest. You can read more about what the scams look like and how to avoid them HERE.

UPS Strike Update

Last week we mentioned that there was the potential for a complete strike of all UPS workers ahead of the union contract expiring at the end of the month. This week, UPS and the Teamsters union representing about 340,000 workers said they reached a preliminary labor deal that includes raises for both full- and part-time workers and avoids the strike. The deal is tentative, meaning things could still fall through with the agreement still needing to be ratified by the union members to end the threat of a strike altogether. That ratification process will take a little more than three weeks. We will let you know if anything changes during that time. 

Credit Card Competition Act Seeing Progress

Another possible deal on the horizon that we’ve been following is the Credit Card Competition Act, which could finally get a vote in the US Senate in the very near future. NJGCA and our national allies have been pushing for this legislation for over a decade, which works by injecting competition into the credit card interchange market to bring fees down for all retailers. Now is a good time to contact your members of Congress to bring to light that credit card fees are one of the biggest expenses that businesses like ours have nowadays. A leader from the Big Banks was bragging recently that they will spend “whatever it takes” to kill this legislation, we need grassroots support to push back. The more support we are able to show the better chances we have of success, click HERE to send a message to your Congressional representative today.

Ballgame Event in Somerset Next

Looking to have some fun this summer? We have been looking for ways to engage our membership and get people out again. These events we run are for you, our members, to show you that your association is not only working for you, but we hope to be able to get members more involved in the work that we are doing. Again, this event is completely FREE for our members, you just need to sign up ASAP as tickets are limited!

There’s still time to sign up to join us at the Bridgewater Patriots on August 24th! Arrive by 6 PM to enjoy BBQ and stay after the game for fireworks. Find the registration form at njgca.org/baseball, and sign up before August 10th to secure your tickets, we have a limited amount!

Reminder: NJDEP Enhanced Vapor Recovery Upgrade 

This upgrade affects all locations with tanks 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. Those affected facilities must upgrade to new, full EVR requirements by December 23, 2024. 

The upgraded system is a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Certified Phase 1 system, and includes enhanced rotatable fill adaptors, dust caps, spill buckets, hoses, and other requirements. Stations that do not upgrade their facility by December 23, 2024 may face fines or penalties for non-compliance. 

In following the same mindset that forewarned the implementation of the Stage II Vacuum Assist Vapor Recovery decommissioning (which ended on December 23, 2020), NJGCA highly recommends that all affected stations comply with the upcoming mandates well ahead of the deadline. Those stations with tanks installed prior to December 23, 2017 should contact their compliance vendor to inquire about the updates and schedule their completion before the deadline. With both the end of Stage II and the credit card EMV upgrades, we saw a lot of people wait until the final few weeks before the deadline and they suffered for it with long waits and higher costs. If you have any questions, contact Nick at nick@njgca.org for more information. 

MBP Spotlight: Lisko Environmental

LISKO Environmental, LLC is a full-service environmental consulting firm focused on assisting New Jersey business owners and operators with environmental compliance. We offer a straightforward approach to site assessment and remediation. Our services include:

• LSRP Services 

• Regulatory and Mandatory Deadlines 

• Case Closure 

• UST Closure and Remediation 

• Preliminary Assessments, Remedial Investigations 

• Forensic Release Date Investigations, Expert Reports, Litigation Support 

• Phase I/Phase II Site Assessments/Environmental Due Diligence


If you’ve been dealing with an environmental problem for years and it seems like there is no end in sight, contact Jonathan Lisko today for a free consultation on your case.


Be Well-

Your Association Staff



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 615 Hope Road, Building 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

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  


Opinion: Polling Finds Governor Murphy Should Be Wary of Banning Gas Vehicles

New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy, has moved forward with his plan to ban the sale of new gas- and diesel-powered vehicles in the state starting in 2035. But according to our polling on this matter, voters in New Jersey are not supportive of banning gas-powered vehicles and forcing drivers to purchase new electric vehicles, or EVs. We found that a strong majority of voters in New Jersey are concerned about the effects of climate change (82%), including a majority of Democrats (93%), independents (82%), and Republicans (69%). But even with that level of anxiety over climate change, just 17% of New Jerseyans feel that the state should do whatever it can to get as many EVs on the road as quickly as possible (just 21% of Democrats, and 18% of independents agree with this position). The vast majority of voters (84%) feel that the focus should be on other issues.


Standing Alone: New Jersey Is Now Only US State With Full-Service Gas Pumps 

Thanks to Oregon, New Jersey is literally one of a kind -- now the only state in the United States to have full-service gas pumps. . . "It's very hard to find anyone who wants to work as a gas station attendant, even at wages that are well above the minimum wage," said Eric Blomgren, with the New Jersey Gasoline Convenience Store Association. "It's just the job that people don't want to do, and since you can't legally sell gas without having an attendant, we have people who are closing off pumps or shutting down early just because they can't find attendants."


Catalytic Converters Stolen Despite Anti-Theft Devices

Thieves in West Palm Beach, Florida were able to steal four catalytic converters despite anti-theft cages protecting them, CBS 12 reports. Two trucks from Massey Services were targeted by thieves overnight, who crawled up underneath the two vehicles and sawed off the catalytic converters. Though the converters were protected by a specially made cage of steel cables, the thieves were able to cut through it. Both the trucks come with two converters, with all four of them being taken. . . “Over the last year, we've replaced over 100 catalytic converters in their vehicles,” said Katz. “It's so rampant and I was hoping it was slowing down.”


EV Infrastructure Report Released

Convenience Technology Vision Group (CTVG) released its second Vision Report, largely around the growth of electric vehicles and the future of its charging infrastructure. As stated in the press release, “According to [Center for Sustainable Energy’s] forecasts, roughly 1.75 million electric vehicles will be sold in 2024, which translates to almost 12% of total new vehicle sales; by 2028 that number is expected to grow to 21% of new vehicle sales.” John Gartner, senior director of transparency and insights, Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), noted that based on the trajectory of EV sales, by 2028, 210,000 public DC chargers will be needed to support the expected number of EV vehicles on the roads. This is almost 200,000 more than the approximate 22,000 available chargers currently in existence in the United States.


Why The NJ Legislature Needs To Stop Gov. Murphy’s Extreme Energy Plan | Opinion

After promising our gas stoves were safe from a ban, Murphy has forged ahead with his effort to invasively mandate total electrification for more than 2.9 million customers — approximately 73% of all New Jersey homes and businesses – that currently count on natural gas to cook, heat water and keep their homes warm in the winter. This also includes banning natural gas generators, which provide vital peace of mind to New Jerseyans when the power cuts out during blizzards, floods, hurricanes and other times of emergency. Not only is the governor’s proposal clouded by a worrying lack of transparency, it also is exorbitantly costly to the citizens of New Jersey, disruptive to the already-overwhelmed power grid, and potentially unconstitutional.


Phil Murphy’s Bad Electric Vehicle Plan Has A Great Loophole | Mulshine

“Murphy looks to drive up EV sales: Gov.’s plan sets timetable to phase out market for new gas-powered cars.” So why did Gov. Phil Murphy just buy eight gas-guzzling Chevy Suburbans? That was the question Durr had brought up during our chat. . . “The Murphy administration has no bounds when it comes to hypocrisy” said Durr. “How can someone tell other people they need to move away from gas vehicles while they purchase SUVs on COVID money that could have been used for other purposes?”


Mexican Drug Cartels Are Behind The Surge In Retail Thefts

Mexican cartels are quietly expanding their global criminal empires to include mass theft operations targeting big-box stores, luxury retail brands, and small businesses, then selling the stolen goods online and laundering the profits through Chinese brokers. The same transnational criminal organizations, known as cartels, that have facilitated the greatest-ever human smuggling operation across the U.S.-Mexico border over the past two years and simultaneously caused the fentanyl epidemic in America now have a hand in organized retail crime.


Bigger EVs Are Coming

Shoppers looking for a seven-seater EV will have more options soon. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, car companies targeted their first EVs mostly at males who fit the early adopter buyer type. But now executives have told the Journal that “as automakers roll out bigger, family-oriented electrics, they have the chance to draw more female buyers.” Currently there are 22 small or compact electric SUVs on the market, but just a smattering of larger vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS. Some new models soon to be on the market: Kia’s EV9 and Volvo’s EX90, in showrooms in the coming months. Cadillac is expected to unveil its electric Escalade IQ in August. Hyundai, Ford and Toyota have large electric SUVs in the works as well.


Norcross wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $17

For years, Democrats in Congress and across the country have pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, saying that such a change is necessary for the country’s low-wage workers. New Jersey is among the many states where they succeeded; thanks to a 2019 bill, the state’s minimum wage is currently just over $14, and will increase to $15 next year. But Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) wants the country as a whole to go further. Alongside several of his Democratic House colleagues, Norcross introduced a bill yesterday that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 all the way to $17 by 2028, a change that the congressman said is long overdue.



  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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