May 5, 2020
Letter from the ILTA President
Dear ILTA members,
I hope this note finds you well. I want to take a moment to thank you for the hard work that you, as an industry, are doing to keep critical products moving during this difficult time as well as your continued support of ILTA.
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, ILTA earlier this month announced it is committed to holding its 40th Annual Operating Conference and Trade Show in 2020 and has shifted the dates to November 16-18. The event, originally scheduled for June, will remain in Houston.
ILTA, on behalf of its members, is seeking to defer out-of-service inspections required under federal law as storage reaches capacity across the nation. With tanks rapidly approaching full usage because of a massive glut of crude and refined products, as drivers heed government lockdown measures, operators have been unable to drain them in order to carry out internal checks.
In a victory for the terminal industry, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on April 30 finalized its regulation that allows warehousemen/terminals and shippers to agree to and notify Class I railroads that shippers should be billed for rail demurrage.
ILTA in a April 29 letter to President Trump said it was not opposed to the federal government leasing crude oil storage space in the nation’s emergency stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, during COVID-19, but that it strongly opposes using the SPR in such a way during nonemergency situations.
Much of ILTA's regulatory activity in the past month has been focused on helping member companies continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this work has occurred during discussions with federal agencies in update and critical infrastructure calls. We have also engaged with agencies on targeted issues. In April, several agencies extended deadlines or delayed inspection activities as a result of the pandemic.
ILTA would like to thank its members who have responded to numerous government requests for information regarding the operational impacts from, and industry needs during, the COVID-19 pandemic. ILTA remains ready to serve as a conduit for its members to get needed information about the pandemic and to seek assistance from federal agencies.
Working with the Department of Energy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, ILTA worked to help member companies secure cloth face masks for essential terminal workers. In all, more than 40,000 face masks were requested from our members. The masks should begin arriving at facilities around May 1.
President Trump signed into law on April 24 a $484 billion relief package passed by Congress earlier that week to provide additional financial relief to some of the most vulnerable individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ILTA and the National Tank Truck Carriers asked that terminal employees and tanker truck drivers be included in the proposed “Heroes Fund” to help recruit and retain workers who are deemed essential. The fund has yet to gain approval on Capitol Hill.
As with most legislation, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically slowed progress on reauthorization of the CFATS anti-terrorism program. However, unlike most federal programs, CFATS is currently set to sunset in July 2020.
It took a pandemic for Congress to finally make a change to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund long sought by the liquid terminals industry and a large multi-industry coalition. The changes would allow the full amount of deposits to the fund collected each year to be used to finance dredging of coastal and inland harbors and ports.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on April 21 released draft versions of two water infrastructure bills that together would authorize nearly $20 billion in new federal funding for projects, including those to help maintain navigability of inland waterways and deepen nationally significant ports. The committee announced it would hold a hearing on the measures May 5.
A group of environmental organizations have launched a legal assault on the Trump administration's Navigable Waters Protection Rule, popularly known and the Waters of the United States rule. Finalized last week, the new rule seeks to define what wetlands and streams qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act. The groups have filed suit claiming that the new CWA will have a devastating effect on U.S. water quality.
ILTA and API have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for clarification of its tank inspection rules. “For purposes of the requested national alternative monitoring plan (AMP) for in-service tank seal inspections, API and ILTA requests confirmation in its interpretation that 40 C.F.R. §63.1063(d)(1)(v) does not apply to the rim seal,” the groups wrote in an April 17 letter. “While the requested AMP would not apply to Subpart WW-regulated tanks (as this regulation unambiguously allows in-service inspections), EPA has represented in discussions that for it to issue a national AMP specifically allowing in-service tank seal inspections, the AMP would have to include more stringent criteria from Subpart WW.”
ILTA welcomed 11 new supplier members in recent months: American Environmental & Industrial Services LLC; the American Petroleum Institute; Axter Coletanche Inc; Hasten Energy Solutions, LLC; Innovative Environmental Solutions; Sage Envirotech; Scape Group; SGS North America, Inc.; The Biosolve Company; Ultraflote LLC; and Waygate Technologies.
Moda Midstream Announces Completion of 10 Million Barrel Crude Oil Storage Expansion at its Texas Facilities
Market Screener, April 28, 2020
Moda Midstream, LLC has opened the final 495,000 barrel tank at its Moda Ingleside Energy Center in Ingleside, Texas. Construction of an additional 3.5 million barrels of storage has already broken ground.
OilPrice.com, April 24, 2020
Energy Transfer has asked the Texas Railroad Commission to allow it to turn two idle pipelines into storage for approximately 2 million barrels of oil as the industry awaits the relaxation of stay at home orders and demand resumes.
Seeking Alpha, April 9, 2020
Delek U.S. Holdings and Delek Logistics Partners has named Reuven Spiegel as its new Chief Financial Officer. Spiegel has served on the Delek Board since 2014.
Radio Oklahoma Network, April 14, 2020
Committing its financial resources to aiding frontline organizations across the U.S. and United Kingdom, Phillips 66 announced it will contribute $3 million to COVID-19 relief efforts with specific endowments of $1 million to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund and $500,000 to the Houston Food Bank.
WNAX, April 15, 2020
Green Plains Incorporate of Omaha will donate 5,000 gallons of ethanol to the state of Iowa to produce sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The sanitizer production is the joint effort of the Iowa Prison's Industries and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which has already produced more than 10,000 gallons of the sanitizing solution for distribution.
13abc, April 9, 2020
Marathon Petroleum Corporation donated $1 million to the American Red Cross and more than 575,000 N95 respirator masks to hospitals and health care organizations across 20 states from its own pandemic response plan supply.
McDuff Progress, April 21, 2020
Responding to a Facebook Support Local and Give Local challenge, Jefferson Energy Cooperative sent catered lunches to front line health care workers at University Hospital McDuffie and Jefferson County Hospital.
Beaumont Enterprise, April 16, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Motiva Enterprises donated $250,000 each to the Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund and the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund. In addition, $50,000 worth of gas cards were sent to various emergency response organizations in Texas, Florida and Maryland, and 500 refurbished laptops were given to Comp-U-Dopt, a nonprofit organization serving underserved youth in Galveston, Texas.
Federal Register Notices
ILTA is accepting submissions through May 22 for the Terminal Operating Practices Symposium, an education series designed to provide terminal operators a forum to exchange lessons learned from facility incidents and discuss effective operating practices with their peers. TOPS 2020 is slated for Thursday, September 24 in Boston, Massachusetts. The symposium is open exclusively to employees of terminal companies, although you do not need to be an ILTA member to participate. Presentations highlight facility incidents and/or near misses; review operating conditions associated with such incidents; examine response practices; relay lessons learned; and present physical and operational changes made to prevent or mitigate root causes. Presenters from many companies are needed to make this event successful. Please send submissions to email@example.com. Presenters may submit more than one topic, but each topic should have its own submission form. An overview of TOPS and the submission form may be found here.
ILTA issued two press releases in April to highlight the critical nature of terminals. “Liquid terminals are probably the most important business you’ve never heard of,” said ILTA President Kathryn Clay in the April 28 release to coincide with news that inventories were nearly full utilization. “Terminals play an essential role in balancing the market. That was clearly demonstrated with the recent sharp drop in crude oil prices, which in turn, lowered refined product prices.” ILTA pitched the story to a number of publications, and conducted interviews with Reuters, Axios, Politico, The Wall Street Journal and Bulk Transporter. ILTA’s April 1 release, issued when storage was becoming increasingly tight, highlighted how terminal storage improves the flexibility of the entire supply chain and its ability to respond to market fluctuations.
We have heard you, and we are here for you. The responses to our recent exhibitor survey told us—loud and clear—that being a part of an ILTA show later this year is vitally important to your businesses! We are committed to making that happen and to bringing the most value we can for all our exhibitors. We are working hard to get everything in place for a successful event in November, and we will make more announcements about our new plans as soon as we can.