Safety Information for Severe Weather Events

For more information, contact:
Shelby L. Metzger
717.441.6040
Shelby@papropane.com

Harrisburg, PA – High winds, power outages and other severe weather effects can not only put a strain on your home energy system, but can also cause significant safety concerns for your family.

PAPGA and The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) invite you to review important safety information at this link.

Here are just a few of the important tips that can be found in the Weather Events Safety Section:

  • Metal objects such as propane tanks and equipment, tractors, and telephone lines can conduct electricity. Do not go near them if Lightning is present
  • Check for downed power lines in and around your property; they can create major safety hazards. Floods can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist.
  • Make sure the area within 10 feet of your propane tank and your propane grill is clear of flammable materials, especially if the forecast calls for extreme heat. Remove any debris that is combustible or easily ignited, including leaves, brush, any vegetation, and rags.

The Weather Events Page also includes general guidelines and basic preventative tips for you to review as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

For the complete list of the Consumer Safety Modules, hit www.PApropane.com and click on the Safety Modules Link in the middle of the main page.

If you need a Certified Technician to conduct a safety inspection of your energy system and appliances, click or tap this link to find the nearest provider.

 

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

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Safety Information for Severe Weather Events

Phil Smith Presented Award for 32 Years of Service

Harrisburg, PA – A long-time member of the Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association and Pennsylvania Propane Foundation Board of Directors was recognized for his outstanding service at the Association’s Spring Membership Meeting on April 4th in Grantville, PA.

Phil Smith, of Gas Works Inc., was presented a Special Award to recognize his 32 years of service to the Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association, serving as their Treasurer on the Board of Directors.

“I’ve learned a lot from the other members and have enjoyed my years on the Board,” said Mr. Smith after receiving the award.

Mr. Smith was presented the award in front of over 100 members and industry representatives at the PAPGA 2014 Spring Membership Meeting.    

“I wanted to take the time to publicly thank Phil and present him with a personalized wooden bobtail.  Phil Smith is an inspiration with his dedication, commitment and enthusiasm he shows as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors,” stated Mark Delehanty, PAPGA President and owner of Independence Propane.

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

 

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

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Phil Smith Presented Award for 32 Years of Service

Price Gouging Prohibited During and After State of Emergency

Pennsylvania has had a Price Gouging Law in effect since 2006. It triggers with the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency and remains in effect for thirty days after the emergency ends. This is the same declaration that gives you “Hours of Service” relief. The law is complicated and prohibits “unconscionably excessive” pricing. Any price increase 20% or more above the pre-emergency prices may trigger that law. Defenses available to the law based on federal or state controlled tariffs or rates on regulated pipelines, railroad transport, shipping, replacement costs, credit card costs or taxes, and certain supply chain increases.

BOTTOM LINE: In order to avoid investigations under the Gouging Law:

  • Be prepared to explain price increases within your distribution chain to customers, and
  • Keep accurate records so that you can completely justify and all price increases in this period of time. This includes any identifiable increases at each and every step within the distribution and transportation chain, and amounts that are controlled by state and/ or federal tariffs or rates, and
  • Don’t quote or use higher prices than you can justify to discourage customers, especially occasional customers, from asking for a delivery. Pricing that sounds outrageous to customers may be enough to trigger an investigation under this Gouging Law,
  • Be careful implementing special charges during any protected period, which were not used or charged prior to the protected period.

For more detail about the law, contact Kathy at ksm@skarlatoszonarich.com.

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Price Gouging Prohibited During and After State of Emergency

PAPGA Helps Consumers Better Understand Current Propane Supply Concerns

For more information, contact:
Shelby L. Metzger
717.441.6040
Shelby@papropane.com

Kathy Speaker MacNett
ksm@skarlatoszonarich.com

Harrisburg, PA – Many Pennsylvanians as well as people from neighboring states are concerned due to recent media reports of a Propane shortage. The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association today announced that the frigid temperatures, high demand in the Midwest and exports are the main cause of the current shortages in Pennsylvania.

In the late fall of 2013 and early winter of 2014, a number of separate events occurred that have led to the current propane supply concerns.

First, the frigid temperatures associated with the unusual Polar Vortex have caused an unusually high demand for propane.  The high demand comes at the end of unusually high fall use of propane in the Midwest.  Many Pennsylvania distributors have spent the winter sending trucks into the Deep South to get supply which has contributed to a sharp rise in prices along propane systems like the Dixie pipeline.  Ability to move product is limited by regulations on the “hours of service” any propane driver can drive in a given day or week.

Second, an unusually wet harvesting season and a bumper corn crop in the Midwest meant farmers were requesting significantly more propane for crop drying than they normally use during the harvest season.   The Midwest’s supplies were impacted by pipeline maintenance and changing pipeline flow patterns are a factor. The Cochin pipeline, which services a number of Midwestern states and runs into Ohio, was closed for maintenance most of December. The pipeline reopened on December 20.

Third, supplies of propane are being exported to other world markets, including Japan and Latin America, where it commands higher prices per gallon then it would in the United States.  Ironically, Europe is having a warmer winter than the U.S. with demand running below normal.  Even if supplies originally destined for Europe are returned to the United States, our federal laws make it difficult for foreign flagged ships to move the propane from one port to another within the United States. 

These factors, combined with the increased demand for propane and other infrastructure changes during the continued record low temperatures in our region, have led to the current supply concerns. 

PAPGA has been working with the Governor’s office, PENNDOT, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep propane supplies moving into and around the Commonwealth, as such supplies become available.  At present, three federal emergencies are in effect, easing hours of service restrictions for propane and other products, in major portions of the country, including Pennsylvania until February 11, 2014. 

PAPGA’s efforts have included requests for emergency declarations to ease the “hours of service” restrictions applicable to propane’s CDL drivers in both interstate and intrastate routes.  State relief was granted originally by the Governor and PennDot on January 10th, and some federal relief was granted on January 19th. Relief for shipments within Pennsylvania has now been extended until February 11, 2014 or the end of the emergency period whichever is less.  Federal relief for the region including Pennsylvania was granted for shipping between states in the Northeast region until February 11, 2014.   Hours of Service limitations restrict the delivery and transport of propane from one location to another both inside and outside the Commonwealth Click Here to learn more about the emergency declarations.   

PAPGA asks both residential and industrial consumers to keep the current temporary supply difficulties in mind, and to appropriately conserve propane. Pennsylvania propane distributors are already taking actions to import propane into the Commonwealth from other states, and are attempting to meet customer needs by a variety of methods including purchases on the open market at higher prices, sharing of propane supplies, and when necessary partially filling tanks until additional supplies of propane become available.  

PAPGA hopes that propane distributors will be able to begin to rebuild inventories as soon as possible. The current prolonged period of sub-freezing weather in our region complicates this supply situation.  PAPGA and its member distributors throughout Pennsylvania appreciate consumer support for our industry as we strive to meet both the residential and commercial needs of our propane customers.

 

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

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PAPGA Helps Consumers Better Understand Current Propane Supply Concerns

Statement On Propane Transportation And Infrastructure Issues

For more information, contact:
Shelby L. Metzger
717.441.6040
Shelby@papropane.com

Harrisburg, PA – The supply of propane across the United States is strong. Recent supply data reveals that in 2013 propane production in the United States increased by nearly 1 billion gallons. During the five year period from 2008 through 2013, U.S. propane production increased by 2.6 billion gallons.

In the late fall of 2013 a number of separate events occurred that, when combined, exacerbated the effects of the transportation and infrastructure problems in the propane distribution network.

First, an unusually wet harvesting season and a bumper corn crop in the mid-west meant farmers were requesting significantly more propane for crop drying than they normally use during the harvest season.

Second, pipeline maintenance and changing pipeline flow patterns are a factor. The Cochin pipeline, which traverses North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and operates 5 propane terminals in the U.S., was closed for maintenance most of December. The pipeline reopened on December 20.

Third, there is reduced capacity for propane transports via rail. Due to the growth in the availability of shale energy, and the lack of pipeline infrastructure in the areas that contain this energy, rail cars that would normally carry propane have been repurposed to carry raw NGLs from the Bakken shale formation before being fractionated in to propane, ethane, etc. This means that a primary mode of transporting propane around the country now has reduced capacity.

Finally, proposals to build primary storage facilities are collecting dust on the desks of government officials across the U.S. For example, one application for a critical storage facility for New York and New England has been awaiting approval from members Governor Cuomo’s cabinet since 2009. The Finger Lakes LPG Storage Facility would house 88.2 million gallons of propane and connect to the existing TEPPCO interstate pipeline and ship propane via truck and railcar.

The current proposal calls for a rail/truck loading facility that is capable of being operated on a 24hour basis 365 days a year. To highlight the importance of this storage facility, New England accounts for 7% of national total consumer propane demand, but holds only 1.2% of total primary propane storage capacity. Independent analysis estimates average heating season consumption in New England at just under 3 million gallons per day.

In conclusion, the propane supply in the United States remains the strongest it has been in recent memory. What Pennsylvania customers are feeling are the results of a strained transportation and infrastructure system that are masquerading as a propane shortage.

 

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

Click Here to Follow Us on Facebook
Click Here to Follow Us on Twitter
Click Here to download our Mobile APP

Attachments

Statement On Propane Transportation And Infrastructure Issues