August 2017 Texas Propane magazine

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TexasPropane Volume 73 No. 8

August 2017

T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E T E X A S P R O PA N E G A S A S S O C I AT I O N

Alliance AutoGas Helps Advance Association’s Autogas Initiatives Mobile Crane Safety

Propane-Air Mix (Synthetic Natural Gas) Provides Solution to Natural Gas Challenges


You’re in Good Hands Staying Local is Your Priority and Ours Have you considered selling your propane business but concerns for your customers and employees are holding you back? At Pinnacle Propane, our values of Customer Service, Integrity, and Safety emphasize providing the best possible experience for our customers and employees. As a Texas-based company, we focus on providing local service to our customers in the communities we do business and empowering our employees via competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package.

Matt Terry Acquisitions and Strategic Development 210-560-5418

As you think about next steps, let us work with you to develop a fair purchase plan and a seamless transition so that you can relax and enjoy the results of your efforts. For more information and a confidential assessment of your business, please call us today.

www.pinnpropane.com

Pinnacle Propane is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


TexasPropane August 2017

TPGA staff Bill Van Hoy Executive Director bvanhoy@txpropane.com Jackie Mason Education & Marketing Regulatory & Legislative Affairs jmason@txpropane.com Debbie Simpson Executive Assistant Membership Meeting Planner Publication Coordinator dsimpson@txpropane.com Propane Service Corporation

Debbie Simpson (800) 392-0023 dsimpson@txpropane.com Publisher

Kim Scheberle Account Manager/Managing Editor Sail House Publishing (512) 346-0892 kscheberle@austin.rr.com

T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E T E X A S P R O PA N E G A S A S S O C I AT I O N

Photos compliments of Superior Energy Systems, Ltd.

8408 North IH 35 Austin, TX 78753 (512) 836-8620 or (800) 325-7427 (512) 834-0758 fax E-mail: info@txpropane.com www.txpropane.com

Propane-Air Mix (Synthetic Natural Gas/SNG) Provides Solution to Natural Gas Challenges

Features

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Customer Fails to Used Qualified Plumber to Fix Leak; Gas Co Prevails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Alliance AutoGas Helps Advance Association’s Autogas Initiatives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 SAFETY TALK: Mobile Crane Safety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Departments Highlights from Headquarters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 TPGA Board of Directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Joanne Pantaze Advertising Sales 512-273-2639 jpantaze@pvco.net

Legal Beat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Kiki Pantaze Art Director (512) 924-7566 kpantaze@pvco.net

Classified Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

People in Propane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Inside the Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Say Cheese. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Index to Advertisers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Propane with Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


Highlights from Headquarters

More of Propane’s Integral Role

2017 CONVENTION Sponsors Golf Tournament Targa Resources Lanyards Keyera Energy Convention Tote Bag Enterprise Products

Bill Van Hoy TPGA Executive Director The association thanks Alliance AutoGas for its contribution in the form of a propane conversion system on Executive Director Bill Van Hoy’s GMC Sierra 1500. This vehicle is used for display and demos at events around the state. In this issue, TPGA explores the many applications where Propane Air-Mix also known as Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) is being used to address natural gas chal-

Welcome Reception Westmor Industries Midstream Transportation

lenges in Texas, around the country, and all over the world. These SNG applications may offer you opportunity to expand your business.

New Member

MARKETER TIMS SOUTH TEXAS Uvalde, TX

President’s Cocktails Quality Steel Bishop Energy Expo Refreshments BASYS AFFINITY PARTNERS BASYS • Lone Star Energy Group

2016-2017 TPGA Board of Directors President: Ben Wood, Northwest Propane, 972-247-6121 President-Elect: John Walter, Schneider Distributing, 800-901-9109 Secretary: Harris Baker, Pinnacle Propane, 512-306-0073 Treasurer/Finance Chair: Sam Fox, McCraw Propane, 469-261-1148 District 1 Director: Jim Vines, Cooper Propane, 903-785-5242 District 1 Alternate: April Welch, WelchGas, 903-577-1446 District 2 Director: Josh McAdams, McAdams Propane, 936-598-7444 District 2 Alternate: Open District 3 Director: Jeremy Gentile, Hill Butane, 409-296-2001 District 3 Alternate: Open District 4 Director: Mark Peterson, Buster Brown Propane, 281-689-3946 District 4 Alternate: Allen Wells, Baygas, 281-332-2660 District 5 Director: Open District 5 Alternate: Open District 6 Director: Omar Garcia, Mr. G Propane, 956-581-1063 District 6 Alternate: Open District 7 Director: Steve Smith, Smith Gas, 830-393-2533 District 7 Alternate: Sharon Seal, Bell Hydrogas, 210-533-7103 District 8 Director: Jack Walzel, Tri-Co Propane, 254-642-3885 District 8 Alternate: Rodney Sladek, Fayetteville Propane, 979-836-7044 District 9 Director: Bill McCullough, Butane Gas, 800-242-69010 District 9 Alternate: Brad Quisenberry, Gene Harris Petroleum, 888-336-4474 District 10 Director: Josh Nowlin, McCraw Propane, 9003-583-7481 District 10 Alternate: Sam Fox, McCraw Oil, 469-261-1148 District 11 Director: Steve Adams, Hardwick LPG, 254-647-3402 District 11 Alternate: Lane Worthington, Sunoco, 325-835-3031 District 12 Director: John Gordon, Bob’s Fuels, 325-647-3619 District 12 Alternate: Laci Jo Stone, Schneider Distributing, 800-901-9109

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District 13 Director: Open District 13 Alternate: Open District 14 Director: Open District 14 Alternate: Open District 15 Director: Don Heinrich, Slaton Gas, 806-828-6501 District 15 Alternate: Open District 16 Director: Open District 16 Alternate: Open Past President: John Kelly, Kelly Propane, 940-586-1208 Past President: Todd Dorris, Roadrunner Energy, 830-278-5317 Past President: Hobie Sibley, 281-455-3673 Past President: Doug Maclay, Huffhines Propane, 972-225-2347 1st Vice President: Jeremy Gentile, Hill Butane, 409-296-2001 2nd Vice President: Josh McAdams, McAdams Propane, 936-598-7444 3rd Vice President: Allen Wells, Baygas, 281-332-2630 Sr. Vice President: Joe Green, Green’s Blue Flame Gas, 713-462-5414 Sr. Vice President: Wes Welch, WelchGas, 903-577-1446 Sr. Vice President: Jack Walzel, Tri-Co Propane, 254-642-3885 Assoc. Service Director: Anna May Etheredge, 940-665-4672 Assoc. Service Alternate: Jeff Severson, BAM Propane, 817-738-8224 Assoc. Producer Director: Jimmie Grant, Martin Gas Sales, 713-851-6155 Assoc. Producer Alternate: John Becraft, Targa Resources, 817-416-7757 Assoc. Manufacturer/Distributor Director: Mike Armstrong, Gas Equipment Company, 214-733-6328 Assoc. Manufacturer/Distributor Alternate: Mark Smith, Leran, 512-318-1840 Assoc. At Large Director: Jim Diehl, Squibb Taylor, 214-357-4591 Assoc. At Large Alternate: Tracy Wells, Gas Equipment Company, 214-638-8018 Nominating Committee Chair: Chad Gray, Dixie LP Gas, 254-582-2261 NPGA Director: Jim Bishop, Bishop Energy, 940-665-3457



Featured

Propane(Synthetic Natural Gas/SNG) Provides Solution to Natural Gas Challenges Propane-air mix or synthetic natural gas (SNG) may be a solution for installations that encounter challenges with natural gas, including as a replacement to natural gas, back-up to natural gas or peak shaving solution. SNG allows LPG companies to market directly to some of the biggest energy users—natural gas users. Large-scale manufacturers, city utilities, hospitals, military bases, prisons and even neighborhoods need a reliable energy supply. It is essential for ongoing operations. The situations that can trigger the implementation of propane-air mix can be summarized in these three primary strategies that focus on maintaining a reliable gas supply: 1. Propane-air mix can be used as replacement with the same infrastructure and orifaces (burner tips). The propane-air mix would now be the primary fuel source or baseload. This would occur due pending expansion or delayed extension of natural gas or if natural gas is no longer available, for instance due to a decommissioned line or depletion of indigenous natural gas reservoirs. 2. Backing up natural gas delivery interruptions due to accidents, interruptible contracts, or any sort of maintenance needed in the transportation or distribution systems; and 3. Dealing with natural gas supply restrictions in peak hours, due to upper limits in the contracted demand or high pressure drops in outdated gas pipelines.

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Featured

-Air Mix Photos compliments of Pinnacle Propane

By Judy L. Marchman

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Photos compliments of Superior Energy Systems, Ltd

Featured

What Is Propane-Air Mix?

Propane-air, also called liquefied propane gas (LPG)-air, is essentially a synthetic natural gas that is formed by mixing specific vaporized propane or LPG proportions with ambient air. The resulting homogeneous mixture can be used as a direct replacement for natural gas in combustion applications. To achieve this product, liquid propane first must be converted to a gaseous state by sending it through a vaporizer, ensuring the propane cannot return to a liquid. Arch Hudelson, director of special projects with Ransome Manufacturing, a leading producer of propane-air vaporizers/mixers, discussed the vaporization process. “The premise is that vaporizers will thermally induce phase change but will not change the discharge pressure to any greater value than the inlet pressure going into the vaporizer,” Hudelson said. “The resident vapor pressure in the storage tank is predicated on the temperature of the stored mass of the propane liquid. This provides the pressure to drive or shove the propane liquid out of the tank and into the vaporizer. The vaporizer heats the propane and vapor discharge out to process.” Even with vaporization, propane’s approximately 2,520 BTU per standard cubic foot make the fuel much “richer” than natural gas (approximately 1,000 BTU/scf), so the next step is blending specific proportions of the vaporized propane with air. The end result is a product that is 100 percent interchangeable with natural gas, although the properties of the mixed gas are a little different than either propane or natural gas. According to Hudelson, propane vapor has a specific gravity of 1.53 and contains 2,550 BTU of calorific value per standard cubic foot of vapor. Natural gas has a specific gravity of 0.6 and contains 1,000 to 1,050 BTU/scf. The resulting mixed gas, however, yields a gas with a specific gravity of 1.305 to 1.310 and contains 1,470 to 1,480 BTU/scf. “Mixed gas with these physical properties will feed into an appliance designed for natural gas and will present a similar flame configuration and the same calorific heating values as the natural gas,” Hudelson said, adding that the reason was due to molecular weight of the hydrocarbon. “As the mixed gas is slightly more viscous and heavier than natural gas, we have to ‘enrich the blend’ to get the same heat and accommodate the same ‘primary air of combustion’ requirement designed into a natural gas-burning appliance.” Argonne National Laboratory conducted a preliminary assessment in 2012 of a propane-air backup system to supplement natural gas use in the Anchorage, Alaska, area. The report, prepared for the

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security, examined the potential amount of propane involved in installing a large-capacity propane-air system. The analysis looked at the amount of propane-air that could be provided to the area’s approximately 350,000 residents served by the local natural gas utility. The report assumed that 50 percent of natural gas deliveries would be switched to propaneair mix, estimating 15,700 galUS Smokeless Tobacco lons of propane per day would be required, given that 11 gallons of propane equals 1 MBTU and assuming that “the typical caloric value of natural gas is roughly 1,000 BTU/cf, and that the average-day demand of 173 million cf/day is equal to 173 billion BTU per day.”

Interchangeable Properties

Because its properties can imitate natural gas so well, propane-air mix can be used interchangeably in existing natural gas piping and appliances. This offers a fairly large benefit for companies or institutions that decide to implement a propane-air mix system. They can avoid costly infrastructure or appliance conversions unlike switching to a diesel, oil, or propane system. There is a cost, though, to installing a propane-air mix system and that can affect why and how propane-air mix may be used. “The infrastructure cost to make propaneair mix can be substantial,” said Harris Baker, vice president of business development at Pinnacle Propane. “If you’re simply looking at installing propane-air mix to a new subdivision in lieu of a pure propane distribution system or tanks, there’s no advantage — it just adds cost.”

Using Propane-Air Mix for Base-Load Ventures

Base-load systems using propane-air mix are the best way to overcome reliability restrictions on natural gas (NG) supply. This situation most often arises from one or a combination of events: (1) Supplying a local distribution network in anticipation of the imminent arrival of a secure and permanent natural gas supply, (2) to replace a natural gas supply that has been lost and constrained beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, or (3) to replace the natural gas supply lost due to retiring aged infrastructure. The foremost alternatives are to feed the propane-air mix into a dedicated new gas grid designed to operate exclusively with propaneair; or, to feed the existing natural gas grid. Regardless, the internal gas pipelines, the control systems, and the burners will be ready to receive the NG whenever it becomes available; or, all existing lines, systems, burners, and appliances will continue to operate seamlessly using the propane-air mix’s permanent replacement of natural gas.


Featured An SNG base-load system can help to anticipate the gas supply for NG grids built in regions with no immediate access to the NG or where the SNG base-load system is conceived to operate in longer terms serving consumers located where the NG grid is not expected to reach in the near-future leaving propane or all-electric as the alternatives. In areas where it becomes necessary to reduce the overall NG supply risk of the LDCs because large industrial customers already connected to the NG grid require a significant share of the total NG consumption those facilities or new downstream facilities are chosen to operate using propane-air mix to alleviate any long-term major supply restrictions for the rest of the NG grid. The following five conditions must be considered during a gas substitution in industrial users: (i) Both gases must provide equal heat input rates; (ii) The system as a whole, including the pipelines, valves, control equipment, burners, draft devices, and other equipment such as heat recovery, regenerators, and dust collectors, must be able to handle both gases ; (iii) The flame stability at the burners must be maintained; (iv) The heat transfer from the flame to the equipment must keep the same pattern; and (v) The flue gases inside the equipment must have the same function, so as to provide the same grade of oxidizing, neutralizing, or reducing atmosphere degradation.

Propane-Air Mix Success Stories

Pinnacle Propane is applying this interchangeability of propaneair and natural gas to two situations in Mississippi in which customers are losing their natural gas service due to a 90-year-old steel gas line being decommissioned. A new line was put in but in a different location, leaving various customers unable to be connected to the new line. One customer was a state prison, Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. “They had a one-year notice that they would lose natural gas and they would need an alternative. The natural gas company was responsible for the switch and was required to pay the costs to get users back up and address their thermal needs,” Baker said. When Pinnacle approached the prison about the project, the original thought was to switch over to propane. The prison had 187 appliances — boilers, heaters, cooking equipment, etc. — and Baker and his team worried that not every piece could properly be converted safely to propane or pieces would need to be replaced. Baker suggested using propane-air mix. “It was going to be less expensive to put in this propane-air mix system than to convert everything,” he said. Pinnacle provided the propane-air mix system, including the propane storage (30,000-gallon tank), vaporizer, air mixer, air compressor, etc., and hooked into the same place and service line, natural gas had gone into the facility. “For the prison, we built a redundant system — two parallel systems,” Baker said of the project that went live in January. Only one side works at a time, but if there’s a problem with one system and it needs to be taken down for maintenance, the other one can kick in. The system is also supported by a backup generator that runs on propane-air mix to create a never-fail power supply. The other customers affected by the loss of the natural gas line is a small natural gas company’s distribution system that serves 152 homes (about 500 people) south of Natchez. The neighborhood also looked at propane as an alternative, but Pinnacle approached the Mississippi Public Service Commission about using propane-air here, as well. Again, it came down to avoiding a potentially costly conversion of

each home to propane. Mississippi River Gas, which owns the distribution system, will get gas from the propane-air system that would work with the existing lines to the homes and is handling billing customers, who will continue to only pay for the amount they use. The project is expected to be completed in August. “We’re finishing up safety checks now. We installed an 18,000 tank that should require only four to six fill-ups per year — and it’s a redundant system as well,” Baker said. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (USST) of Hopkinsville, KY is another successful case of propane-air mix used as a primary energy source. The company uses propane-air mix to cure their tobacco. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco originally reached out to Superior Energy Systems to use propane-air mix as a back-up/stand-up system, because they could not afford to lose a batch of tobacco, which is valued at $1 million a batch. Initially, their primary fuel source would be natural gas with the propane-air mix as a safeguard; however, after the facility was built they realized they did not have access to natural gas and it would be two years before they would have access to natural gas. Propane-air mix ended up being USST’s primary fuel source. James Bunsey, Director of Operations for Superior Energy Systems, Ltd. (SES) states,“Superior Energy Systems got their start in 1973 installing these propane-air mix systems, we have over 40 years of experience installing them and were able to customize a system where U.S. Smokeless Tobacco could use the propane-air mix 100% of the time.” U.S. Smokeless Tobacco has two 30,000 gallon tanks, 2 vaporizers, and 2 air blenders. They use 18,000 gallons, 2 transport loads, a week to fuel heaters, boilers, steam generators, and other tobacco production equipment.

Propane-Air Mix on Standby/Backup

Businesses and facilities with critical or continuous operations require a constant source of power in case of disruption of the original power source, such as natural gas or electricity. Such a disruption can result in a loss of production and consequently, a significant loss in revenue. “Propane-air mix retains the same beauty of propane as a highquality, portable energy resource,” Baker said, making it an ideal solution for serving as a backup power source, for emergencies and standby needs. For example, Ransome Manufacturing earlier this year installed a direct-fired propane-air mixer (PAM) unit for generators at Samsung’s Austin semiconductor manufacturing facility to provide a backup power source. Glass plants are another common site for propane-air backup systems. If natural gas is shut off or curtailed to the furnaces, the molten glass inside will solidify. Not only does this result in loss of product, but also time and expense to remove the solid glass before production can be restarted. Having a backup system that integrates fully into the natural gas infrastructure can ensure a constant supply of fuel. “If you have a furnace, boiler, oven, or other appliance requiring natural gas, there exists the possibility of interrupted service. When switching over to a propane-air backup system, you would August 2017 •

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Featured Where in the World

Propane-Air Mix Around the World The U.S. is not the only place globally to find propane-air mix applications. Several propane-air mix/SNG systems are already installed in China, Dubai, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, Turkey and Pakistan. In Liuzhou City, China, there are three SNG stations. Each station is designed to fuel 50,000 households. Propane-air mix is used as the baseload, the primary energy to fuel the city. They have two 1-million gallon spherical tanks and a rail unloading station. They use 6,100 tons of propane a month, per station. In Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is using a base load system to supply SNG until natural gas arrives. LPG consumption is 1,400 tons a month. The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago in United Arab Emirates created using land reclamation. It is one of three planned islands called the Palm Islands. From factories in Turkey to neighborhoods abroad, propane-air mix is used as a solution to natural gas challenges.

never know you made the switch,” said Greg Ezzell, vice president of business development at TransTech Energy, which designs and installs propane-air systems around the country and internationally. “And when the curtailment issue is resolved, you can switch back to natural gas. “If in a backup situation, the end user doesn’t have a propaneair system,” he added, “there are more manual processes involved to switch over to the backup source.” Hospitals and prisons are other prime examples of critical need facilities. If a natural gas or electric power disruption occurs, particularly a long-term one due to, for example, a natural disaster, there are real consequences involving human lives. Hospitals, in particular, face certain requirements under federal regulations regarding having a backup fuel source — and not meeting those requirements could potentially affect their federal funding. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently established emergency preparedness requirements (42 CFR Parts 403, 416, 418, et al., published September 16, 2016 and effective November 15, 2016) to guide hospitals in developing emergency and backup power supplies. The rule mandates emergency planning (including having a power backup) for any Medicare and Medicaid-participating hospital. Ransome Manufacturing recently installed a propane-air system at a large hospital complex in Southern California. “Large hospitals typically have connected loads in the range of 40 to 50 million BTU per hour,” Hudelson said. “We buried two 30,000 gallon LPG storage vessels under the parking lot and installed a 44 million BTU propane-air mix system with an 8 psig send-out pressure.”

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For comparison, Hudelson pointed to a much smaller hospital project Ransome did near the small community of Fall River Mills in Northern California. “The connected load here was quite small, so we designed a system that produced mixed gas in the range of 5 to 7 million BTU per hour,” he said.

Interruptible Service and Peak Shaving

The beauty of installing a propane-air mix system is that companies can take advantage of the system’s versatility and reliability. “A propane-air mix system reduces the time to market for companies waiting on a natural gas line by allowing them to get up and running immediately,” Ezzell said. “Once natural gas is in place, those same businesses can leverage their propane-air mix system investment by using it as a standby energy source. And it also can become an economic insurance policy by negotiating an interruptible rate for natural gas.” Most natural gas companies provide large industrial customers the option to switch from a firm gas supply to an interruptible service, and negotiate for reduced rates. Under interruptible service, the utility can notify customers of a curtailment situation, typically with 24-hour notice that they need to switch to a back-up gas supply. If they are unable or don’t switch, the customer could face a exorbitant penalty costs. So, having a reliable backup source, like propane-air mix, is paramount. “In these cases, it is critical to observe the notice of interruptable flow of natural gas because failing to do so can eat up savings very quickly,” Baker said, adding that once the propane-air mix system prepares the blended gas, it can then be placed directly into the natural gas lines. Utility companies are also using propane-air mix systems for peak shaving to offset natural gas use during times of high demand, such as during periods of extreme cold. Peak shaving becomes necessary when the demand for natural gas increases to the point that the distribution infrastructure, already in need of expansion, strains to deliver enough natural gas to consumers. Superior Energy System’s client, Logan Aluminum of Russellville, Kentucky started using propane-air mix when natural gas could not meet their demand. They started using propane-air mix for peak shaving. The facility has four 90,000 underground tanks and one 90,000 aboveground tank. With propane-air mix as supplement, Logan Aluminum can now meet their production needs. Even though it’s been around awhile, propane-air mix systems still have plenty of potential growth opportunities to provide extra stability to the natural gas grid, resulting in multifaceted economic benefits to businesses and other institutions.


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Legal Beat

Customer Fails to Use Qualified Plumber to Fix Leak; Gas Co. Prevails By Kathryn A. Regier Causation issues in fire and explosionrelated lawsuits can be complex, with the conduct of multiple parties potentially at issue as illustrated in the Westbrook v Atlanta Gas Light Company case. This case stemmed from a fire and explosion incident at an apartment where the property owner failed to have a qualified person fix a known gas leak before the tenant took possession. Regardless, the property owner and plaintiff both asserted that it was the gas company’s conduct that caused the incident. The Court analyzed the gas company’s conduct in a pre-explosion service call in relation to the property owner’s conduct afterwards and determined that under Georgia law, the property owner’s conduct was the intervening cause of the incident. Ultimately, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment to the gas company in the lawsuit. The underlying incident involved natural gas service to the property in question rather than propane, but the issues raised are

analogous to ones faced by the propane industry, including “do-it-yourself ” issues. Let’s start with the background facts.

Background/Underlying Incident

Herschel Thomas owned residential property which included a main house and a detached apartment. Prior to the incident in question, Thomas had the gas service

shut off to the vacant apartment and to the main house because gas was not being used at either location. At some point, Thomas rented the apartment to his co-worker, Kevin Westbrook. Thomas then contacted Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) and requested that AGL turn the gas back on. Kenny Newell, an AGL field representative, came to the house to check on the gas service. Thomas was not at home at the time, but his stepson’s 20-year old girlfriend, Tiffany Northcutt, was there to let the “gas guy” in. Newell found a note in the kitchen asking him to check behind the electric stove to see if the gas line needed to be capped. Newell capped the gas line and inspected the attic furnace. He then checked the gas meter, unlocked it and turned the gas on. The meter showed a leak so Newell turned the gas off, confirmed everything was off in the house, turned the gas back on and let it run for a few seconds before going inside. He didn’t smell any gas inside the house.

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Legal Beat Newell then left the meter off, in a safe and secure position, but did not replace the lock. Notably, it came to light later that Newell had no knowledge about the detached vacant apartment behind the house. Before he left, Newell filled out a warning card which stated at the top: “DANGER. This meter or appliance must not be turned on until the condition(s) indicated below have been corrected.” Below the warning, Newell had marked an X to show there was a “[l]eak in house piping[.]” He also handwrote on the card: “Leak in fuel line. Left meter off but unlocked for plumber.” Newell also marked the line that said, “Have the qualified agency/person connect and/or activate the appliance.” Newell had Northcutt sign the affirmation on the warning card and left one copy with her. He also testified he explained the dangerous situation to her and the stepson, and left another copy of the warning card on the gas meter. In a classic “he said, she said” scenario, Northcutt testified that she did not recall having this conversation with Newell but she thought she would remember if someone told her that the house could catch on fire. Thomas’ stepson testified that he was not even at the house when Newell explained the situation. Northcutt also testified that she did not tell Thomas that the AGL employee could not turn the gas on because there was a leak in the line and could not remember if she gave Thomas the warning card. Thomas disputed whether a copy of the warning card had been left at the meter but testified that he saw a warning card, and “gazed over it.” Thomas asserted that he did not understand the warning card meant he had a leak in his gas system–his take on it was that “the meter had been left off and that a plumber was supposed to come and do whatever needed to be done before the gas was turned on” and that “everything was good.” Instead of having a qualified plumber work on the gas system, Thomas asked his friend, “John,” who had done some odd jobs for him in the past, to turn the gas on. Thomas was not at home when John came to do the work, but Thomas knew that John had turned the gas on. Significantly, Thomas also testified “he did not know the extent of John’s background in plumbing, but doubted John was trained as a plumber.” The last link in the chain of events leading up to the incident occurred when Westbrook came to the apartment one morning, after the gas had been turned

on by Thomas’ handyman, to start moving in his belongings. Westbrook brought a friend along to help him unload his belongings from his vehicle and move things into the apartment. Westbrook testified he did not smell anything unusual except the apartment smelled “old” like other times when he was there. However, this time Westbrook used his lighter to light incense while standing at the open door of the apartment to get rid of the “old” smell. Immediately after he ignited his lighter, there was an explosion, followed by a fire in

the apartment. Westbrook was burned on his face and hands and his friend was also injured. The fire department’s investigator determined that the cause of the explosion was an open gas line. Both Westbrook and his friend sued AGL for negligence.

The Lawsuit

Westbrook and his friend alleged in their lawsuit that AGL was negligent in a number of ways: failing to identify and eliminate a gas leak; failing to close an open line, including failing to lock the gas meter; failing to

A re Y ou

GAMBLING W ith your insurance? Other propane owners have come to our agency to cover their insurance bets: 1) Most tell us they have no idea what companies insure their industry and are surprised to learn there are multiple options available; 2) Many have discovered a gap in coverage after meeting with us; 3) Some have grown frustrated with the lack of timely response and personal service from their current agent.

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“We chose Marshall Young as our insurance agent because of the personal service, value and the ability to meet all of our insurance needs. When we need anything we get immediate and personal service with just a phone call.” — John Walter Schneider Distributing

401 N. Ridgeway Drive, Cleburne TX 76033 | 817-645-9155 MEMBER

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Legal Beat train its service representatives; and failing to adequately warn them or Thomas about the dangerous nature of the gas leak. AGL filed a summary judgment motion asserting that as a matter of law Thomas’ conduct, not AGL’s, was the proximate cause of the incident. The trial court granted AGL’s motion, “concluding that the intervening actions of Northcutt, Thomas, and Thomas’ handyman broke the causal connection between any negligence by AGL in failing to lock the meter (or train its representative to do so) and the plaintiffs’ injuries.” The trial court also rejected plaintiff ’s failure to warn claim finding that AGL’s warning card provided an adequate warning of the danger due to the leak in the gas system. Plaintiffs filed an appeal, arguing that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment, when it determined plaintiffs’ injuries were not proximately caused by AGL and that the warning provided by AGL was adequate as a matter of law, i.e. without a jury’s determination of the alleged fact issues.

The Appeal

The Georgia Court of Appeals addressed the proximate cause issue by first noting that a plaintiff can recover on a

negligence claim only if the defendant’s conduct was the proximate cause of the injuries. “This requirement reflects a policy decision that in certain circumstances— i.e., where there is an intervening act—the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff ’s injury are too remote for the law to allow recovery.” In other words, conduct occurring after the defendant’s actions can break the causal connection required for a successful negligence claim. Basically, the legal concept of proximate cause is tied to the scope of a defendant’s responsibility in a negligence case. In general, a company cannot be held to unlimited liability for any and all damages that could possibly be tied to, or somehow connected to its conduct. Instead, under the law a defendant is responsible only for damages the defendant could reasonably foresee stemming from its actions. If the damages are outside the scope of foreseeable risks, the plaintiff cannot meet the burden of proof on causation and cannot prevail on a negligence claim. As part of the proximate cause analysis, the Court of Appeals discussed another Georgia case that the trial court relied on for guidance when it granted AGL’s summary judgment motion. In that Georgia case, a

tenant in a mobile home notified her “electric membership corporation (EMC)” servicing the home that they were receiving electrical shocks if they touched two pieces of metal at the same time. An EMC representative tested inside the home and found potentially life-threatening voltage levels but also “discovered that the voltage reading registered zero when he shut off one particular circuit breaker.” He shut off the circuit breaker and told the tenants that the situation was very dangerous, that his friend was killed by that same level of voltage, and to not turn the circuit breaker back on until it had been checked and repaired. The tenant’s landlord changed the receptacles on the circuit but within a day or two, the tenant was receiving shocks again. The tenant testified that she kept the circuit on “per her landlord’s assurances” that there was not a problem. Tragically two months later, the tenant’s six-year old child was electrocuted. The incident led to a lawsuit and a decision by the trial court to grant summary judgment for EMC which was appealed. The Georgia Court of Appeals determined that EMC’s conduct was not the proximate cause of the child’s death. The Court “concluded that the acts and statements of third parties that resulted

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Legal Beat in the breaker being turned on constituted an intervening act that was not foreseeable by the EMC, particularly in light of the detailed warning that the technician had provided the plaintiff.” The Court pointed out that similarly in this case, the jury could come to only one conclusion-that AGL’s conduct did not proximately cause the plaintiffs’ injuries. The Court noted that “[e]ven assuming the AGL representative’s failure to reinstall a lock on the gas meter was a “but-for” cause of the explosion, the subsequent actions of Thomas, with the help of his handyman, “to turn on the gas without fixing the leak was a new cause ... sufficient to stand as the cause of ” the explosion.” The Court also determined that “a jury could not conclude that AGL reasonably could have foreseen that Thomas would have taken that action in derogation of the clear written warning left by the AGL representative specifying that Thomas’ natural gas system had a dangerous leak that needed to be corrected before the gas could be turned on.” The plaintiffs asserted multiple counter arguments including going to great lengths to distinguish the case involving the mobile home’s electrical system arguing that the landlord substantially altered the system

after the EMC technician was there and before the child was electrocuted but that Thomas’ handyman did not change the condition left by AGL to the same extent. The Court of Appeals stated that “this is a distinction without a difference. In both cases,

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the premises were left in a condition that did not pose an immediate danger—the EMC technician turned off the circuit breaker, and the AGL representative turned off the gas (after having turned it on as requested).” The Court also pointed out that “in each case, a

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Legal Beat third party took an action—turning on the circuit breaker, or turning on the gas—that created a dangerous condition.”

In the case reviewed above, the Georgia Court of Appeals’ decision to affirm the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for

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the gas company was grounded in strong Georgia case law on the proximate cause issue coupled with certain uncontroverted facts, like the clear content of the warning card. However, in jurisdictions outside Georgia, summary judgment motions or appeals based on similar facts may not have the same result as this case, i.e. those courts may decide that a jury would need to determine the outcome of a negligence case. Regardless, the case underscores the complexity of causation issues in litigation; potential issues related to unqualified people working on gas systems; and the importance of following procedures and documenting work completed at each and every customer location. Have a safe and great summer! The door to safety swings on the hinges of common sense. ~Author unknown Kathryn A. (“Katy”) Regier is an attorney with the Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard, P.C. law firm in its Kansas City, MO office. She can be contacted at: kregier@sandbergphoenix.com or (816) 425-9683.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


August 2017 •

Texas Propane

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Tell Us Something Good

Alliance AutoGas Helps Advance Association’s Autogas Initiatives

bed of the truck, which has caught the eyes Last year, Alliance AutoGas donated a diof many fleet managers at road shows. rect-injection (DI) propane conversion sys“This solution does not have the added tem to the Texas Propane Gas Association complexity of an in-tank fuel pumps or (TPGA) to use on Executive Director Bill having to manage the return side fuel sysVan Hoy’s 2014 5.3L GMC Sierra 1500. tem. This aids in reliability and good warm The truck is used for demo and display at weather performance. Lastly, the controller events around the state and recently was logic for this system is very robust. We are featured at the 2017 National Government able to integrate with the existing vehicle Fleet Expo (GFX) in San Antonio in June. “The propane-powered truck featuring Alliance AuThe Texas Propane Gas Association thanks AltoGas’ cutting edge technolliance AutoGas for its contribution to the assoogy is based on a proven conciation and appreciates how Alliance’s efforts version platform that simply overlays a secondary propane have quietly led in the proliferation of propane fuel system on the direct inautogas across the U.S. jected engine. Our easy inBill Van Hoy, TPGA Executive Director tegration with plug and play wiring, detailed installation with great ease without reflashing any of the instructions, and custom designed brackets factory equipment,” Hoffman goes on to say. made the install very easy,“said Ed Hoffman, The association truck has been in operapresident of Blossman Services Inc. tion with the new system for a little over a The pickup is fueled by a 60 usuable galyear, over 50,000 miles, and TPGA Execulon tank encased in diamond tool box in the

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

tive Director Bill Van Hoy touts, “There are no unusual characteristics or oddities like engine lights. The system is flawless.” Van Hoy goes onto say, “The propane system appears to be thoroughly vetted and engineered in a way that has additional safeguards like their twin regulators. The system also notifies you when it’s time to change the filters.” Alliance AutoGas, www.allianceautogas.com (AAG) is an international network providing a comprehensive propane autogas solution to light and medium duty fleets. Alliance AutoGas and its 120 members is the only complete program to help American fleets transition from gasoline to cleaner-burning propane autogas. The foundation of Alliance AutoGas is a broad network of partners with expertise in autogas fueling, vehicle technology, and high-performance customer support. Over 500 EPA certifications have been secured by Alliance AutoGas.


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Safety Talk

Mobile Crane Safety: Daily Inspections Safety Meeting

Cranes and rigging equipment must be inspected regularly to identify potentially unsafe conditions. A thorough inspection program can help to reduce equipment failures and malfunctions. Every type of crane should be inspected by the operator prior to each use. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s operating manual for inspection routines and items to check for on your specific crane.

broken strands, kinks, flat spots, and end attachments. Check wire rope traveling around drums and sheaves for damage. 3 Overall — Check crane for damage or missing parts, leaking cylinders, and cracked welds. 3 Fire Extinguisher — Make sure a properly sized and rated fire extinguisher that is fully charged is on the vehicle.

PROPER INSPECTION OF YOUR CRANE AT START-UP GENERALLY INCLUDES: 3 Vehicle and Chassis — Check oil level, battery, lights, and

If any problems or deficiencies are observed during the inspection, do not operate the crane until they have been repaired or it has been determined by a qualified person that the problems do not constitute a safety hazard.

3 3 3

3

brakes. Check tires for proper pressure, cuts, and loose or missing wheel lugs. Operation and Safety Decals — Make sure all load charts, safety decals, and control decals are present and legible. Anti-Two-Block System (telescopic cranes) — Check for proper operation. Inspect for cracks, grooves, or damage. Hydraulic System — Check for proper oil level. Check hoses and fittings for leaks. Use caution as hydraulic systems can contain very hot oil and can be under extreme pressure. Controls — Check all control mechanisms for proper operation of all functions.

Look for leaks, cracks, and excess wear. 3 Remote Control (if applicable) — Check all remote functions

for proper operation and damage.

3 Electrical Systems — Check all lights and alarms for proper op-

eration. 3 Hardware — Check pins, sheaves, nuts, and bolts for breakage, excess wear, and tightness. 3 Covers and Guards — Check for missing or improperly maintained covers and guards. 3 Hooks — Check for the presence and proper operation of a safety catch or hasp. Check hooks for cracks or damage. 3 Slings and Wire Ropes or Cables — Check for frayed edges,

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Discussion Topics 1. Why is it important to inspect your crane prior to each use? 2. How can your safety and the safety of others be at risk if a crane defect or problem is not identified and repaired in a timely manner? 3. Whose responsibility is it to keep the crane in good working order? LEARNING ACTIVITY Have a crane available on site and adjust it to have deficiencies (missing equipment, burnt-out light bulbs, uncharged extinguisher, etc.). Have participants inspect the crane and note problems they find. Discuss how to remedy each issue.

For more information regarding mobile crane inspection, visit propanesafety.com. Source: Mobile Crane Safety in the Propane Industry (PERC)


Safety Talk

Mobile Crane Safety: Site Assessment Safety Meeting

Proper site planning and preparation are extremely important to ensure a safe and trouble-free lift. An assessment must be conducted before you bring any vehicle or equipment on the job site. ALTHOUGH EVERY SITE IS DIFFERENT, THERE ARE SEVERAL FACTORS AND CONDITIONS YOU ALWAYS NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE BRINGING THE CRANE ON-SITE: 3 Determine the load weight and make sure it does not overload

the crane. Refer to the crane’s load chart to make certain that the lift will be performed within the rated capacity of the crane. 3 Check the access routes to and from the work zone to ensure the crane can safely enter and exit. 3 Choose a safe route that has the least impact on the property owner’s landscape. Try to avoid or limit ruts and damage to grass, plants, trees, and fences. 3 Carefully examine ground conditions to verify the ground’s abil-

ity to support the weight of the crane and the load. Snow, mud, sand, and soft soil conditions should be noted and accounted for. 3 Locate all underground utilities and structures. The weight of the vehicle and its outriggers can puncture or collapse underground pipes, utility lines and outlets, septic tanks and septic drain fields, cisterns and water wells, and underground electric dog fences. Always ask the property owner to identify the location of all underground utilities and structures. 3 The area should be fairly level. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the amount of slope that your crane can tolerate. As a general rule, side slopes, shoring locations, excavations, and trenches should be avoided.

3 Check for power lines and other overhead objects. Remember,

tree branches and other obstructions can hide power lines.

3 Determine the radius requirements of the lift. Be sure that

these requirements will not cause you to enter an electrical danger zone. Discussion Topics 1. E ven if you have been to the job site in the past, do you still need to conduct a thorough site assessment before conducting a new lift? Why or why not? 2. W hat can happen to your crane if you set up on soft or unstable ground? 3. W hy is it important to know the location of every underground utility and structure at the job site?

LEARNING ACTIVITY Act out a site assessment on your facility premises or a nearby location. Have all participants take part, and discuss special issues that might arise during different seasons.

For more information regarding mobile crane site assessment, visit propanesafety.com. Source: Mobile Crane Safety in the Propane Industry (PERC) August 2017 •

Texas Propane

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Inside the Industry

People in Propane Since 2001, Stacy Neef has managed the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities program in Central Texas where she worked with over 150 members and stakeholders from Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties, in addition to the cities of Temple and Ft. Hood, Texas. Under her tenure, Stacy was successful in securing numerous grants greatly advancing alt fuels in the state of Texas. She was the first in the country to implement a propane mower incentive program under a grant from Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Stacy retired at the end of June. TPGA wishes you well with your retirement. Roy Casey III, 56, of Fairfield, passed away on June 26, 2017 in Dallas. Mr. Casey was employed at Nucor Steel from 1978 to 1984. From 1984 to 2015 he was a part of the family business at Casey Propane. If Roy could be remembered as anything it would be a man of God who loved his children and grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time. Robert Thomas Natoli passed away on June 28, 2017. Mr. Natoli served in the Army, and later became an accountant. He worked for Cooper Brothers & Co., Suburban Propane, and was the Morris County, NJ Treasurer for 22. years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Odis A. Davis passed away on July 14, 2017. In 1959 Mr. Davis started his own business, LP Gas Company in Nocona, TX. He and his wife also operated Nocona Hot Oil Service which they sold in 1987. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

PERC Launches New Website: www.PropaneCanDoThat.com

This new initiative and your efforts will be bolstered by paid media and public relations, so together we can have an impact on America’s farms.

available in class 4-7 vehicles and Blue Bird Type C buses.05 g/bhp-hr. These new EPA- and CARB-certified propane engines are 75 percent cleaner than the current emissions standard. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are a group of gases known as a primary contributor to acid rain, smog and other air quality issues. The EPA states that exposure to NOx can trigger health problems such as asthma and other respiratory issues. CARB has encouraged heavy-duty engine manufacturers to reduce levels below the current mandatory EPA standard of .2 grams per brake horsepower per hour (known as g/bhp-hr). “The certification covers ROUSH CleanTech 6.8L V10 3V propane engines for school bus and commercial truck engines with no additional upfront cost. ROUSH CleanTech has begun installing the new low NOx engines in its Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird Vision propane school buses with 2017MY engines. “Developing the lowest NOx propane engine sends a message that this fuel is comparable to other alternative fuels from a standpoint of emissions,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “With our nation’s ample supply of propane and the fuel’s favorable total cost of ownership, our propane autogas engine is the perfect mix of environmental and economic sustainability.” To learn more about ROUSH CleanTech’s propane autogas fuel system technology that powers Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses and Ford commercial vehicles, please visit www.roushcleantech.com. DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center Station Locator

CARB Certifies Propane Engine to Lowest NOx in the Market

The Propane Education & Research Council has launched a new website www. PropaneCanDoThat.com to show America’s farmers how propane gets the job done. PropaneCanDoThat.com has video testimonials, case studies, and more to help you make the case to producers how propane helps them feed the world.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Many fleets use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center Station Locator to find vehicle refueling stations every day. Now is a great time for marketers to take a moment and review their information on the locator map. Maintaining an accurate listing that displays their hours of operation and address ensures fleet


customers can find them easily. The Station Locator lists stations as “primary” or “secondary”. Both types of stations are able to refuel vehicles, but primary stations are equipped specifically for vehicle refueling, and offer more amenities: • Open to the public (fleet customers). • Staffed during regular business hours — no calling ahead required. • Accept credit and fleet cards. Offer a dedicated fuel dispenser for vehicles. How to add or update your autogas station To get their station listed, marketers can simply complete and submit the online form clicking on submit a station in upper righthand corner of the map located at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/. The marketer will be contacted to verify their information by the AFDC team. Once their listing is live online, they should promote it to area fleets. Every year, the marketer will be contacted to confirm their information is still up-to-date. If marketers are already listed on the locator and have not been contacted by the AFDC team in the past year, they should verify that their listing is still up to date, and

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Texas Propane

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Inside the Industry if it is not, they should click on the “Report a change” link on their station listing. UPS to Add More Alternative Fuel Vehicles to Fleet

and renewables. UPS operates 8,300 alternative fuel vehicles. The Atlanta Journal also reported that by 2020 UPS wanted one out of every four vehicles to be powered by alternative fuels. Recall: Portable Propane Cylinders

This summer, UPS announced they plan to add more alternative fuel vehicles to their fleet. The Atlanta Journal reports, “The move comes as e-commerce growth drives up the shipping giant’s use of fuel.” Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. The company used more than 97 million gallons of alternative and lowercarbon fuels in its ground fleet in 2016. Its alternative fuel vehicles include electric, hybrid electric, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane autogas vehicles

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of roughly 24,000 YSN Imports Flame King refillable propane cylinders. The cylinders can leak propane gas, posing a fire hazard. There are five sizes ranging from 14 ounces to a pound. The company has received two reports of the connecting valve starting to unscrew from the cylinder. No injuries have been reported. Consumers should immediately stop using the propane cylinders and contact YSN Imports for a full refund or replacement. They were sold at Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Kamps, Propane Depot, U-Haul and other stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com and other websites from No-

D.L.Morrison Welding & Construction L.P.

vember 2013 through September 2016 for $10-$15. You can call YSN Imports toll-free at 855-215-4970 from 8am to 5pm ET, Monday through Friday, email at flameking7685@stericycle.com or online at www. flameking.com and click on “Recall Information” for more information. Council Approves Assessment Rate Increase

At the Council meeting in July, the Propane Education & Research Council approved an increase in the assessment to $0.005 per gallon of odorized propane, an increase of half of one-tenth of a cent per gallon from the current rate of $0.0045 per gallon, effective Oct. 1, 2017. The additional revenue is projected to be about $3.3 million for programs. Propane Living Newsletter

Deadline August 11, 2017

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

The very, low cost Propane Living newsletter is back for 2017 and the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is collecting registrations and distribution lists for the Fall edition. The propane residential newsletter can be mailed to your customers each quarter by simply registering and paying some very minimal fees. The newsletter showcases the benefits of propane in the home, residential safety tips, as well as a seasonal recipe. Sign up today to send Propane Living to your residential customer base. Visit www.procot.org to register.


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At the LSCFA Clean Cities Fleet Day this past June, Jackie Mason of the Propane Council of Texas and Harris Baker of Pinnacle Propane talk to Henna Chevrolet about their recent advancements in alt fuels and how Henna is facilitating the switch to propane autogas and CNG. Alliance AutoGas Partners, Sam Fox of McCraw Oil; Harris Baker of Pinnacle Propane; and Brian Green of Green’s Blue Flame, tout the perks of propane autogas at the GFX Expo in San Antonio.

Rob Little and Regina Betancourt of Ferrellgas educate fleets on propane autogas in the PERC booth at the GFX Expo in June.

26

Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Steve Ford of Roush Cleantech talks to fleets about Ford propane ship-through options during Fleet Day at the Circuit of Americas.


On June 13, 2017, Crystelle Markley of Superior Energy Systems and Christina Roberts of Suburban Propane talked to fleets from around the country in the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) Pavilion at the Government Fleet Expo (GFX) in San Antonio.

On June 22, 2017, Kimberly Sinclair and Kristi Courtney of Amerigas discuss propane autogas for on- and off-road uses at Fleet Day at the Circuit of Americas hosted by the Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance Clean Cities Coalition, Travis County and 100 Best Fleets.

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Be sure to visit our on-line catalog CGProducts.com August 2017 •

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Classifieds The fUeL Manager Comprehensive Computer Software for the Small to Medium Range Propane Dealer • A/R Billing • Management Reports • Inventory • Also Available: Accounts Payable, Payroll, General Ledger, C-Store • Customized Programming • Can Convert your Records to Run on our System • Tank Control Texas Owned and Operated • 888/FUEL-MGR • Routing C&P Associates, P.O. Box 6984 • Bryan, Texas 77805

For Sale Used Bobtail Barrels. Contact: 800-852-4641

FOR SALE: 1998 Chevrolet C7500, 2400 Gallon barrel LCR Meter, LCR Register, 150ft hose Current VK & Hydro, Form 4 good through 2017 Very clean bobtail. $22,500 Call or email Josh, 281-259-2162 josh@texasstarpropane.com

PetroStar Equipment Resources Purchase & Sale Pre-Owned Propane Tanks 5,000 gallons to 120,000 gallons FOR SALE (2) 18,000 gallon, 250 psi, Trinity, skidded (2) 30,000 gallon, 250 psi, Mississippi Tank Contact: Jim Oliver (936) 755-6108 petrostar@pdq.net

Prent@longhornpropane.com or Latisha@longhornpropane.com, 830-964-2525

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


Calendar August

18-20 LP Gas Growth Summit Orlando, FL

Fall Propane Living newsletter subscription deadline

19-20 PERC Advisory Committee Meetings Scottsdale, AZ

11 ProCOT Calendar Order Deadline

23 LPG Charity Fund Poker Tournament Tulsa, OK

September

4 Labor Day TPGA office closed 10-13 NPGA Technical Standards & Safety Meeting Colorado Springs, CO 14-15 NPGA Benchmarking Council (Groups A-F) St. Charles, MO

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For Sale 2 Bobtail trucks. Both equipped with a 2400 gallon LPG tank, plumbing, meter, hose, and hose reel. Ford ’94 F700 Series truck. International ’85 S1900 Series truck. Located in El Dorado, Arkansas. Call for price. 870-863-3301

21-22 NPGA Benchmarking Council (Groups G-L) St. Charles, MO

October

1-3 NPGA Fall Board Meeting Minneapolis, MN 9 Pros4Care Golf Tournament McKinney, TX 24 LPG Charity Fund Golf Tournament Humble, TX

RAILROAD COMMISSION APPROVED TRAINING 1.1 Introduction to Propane 2.1 Dispenser Operations— DOT/ASME Refueling 2.3 Bobtail Operations and Delivery 3.3 Appliance Conversion 3.8 RV Technician Your place or mine. Call for pricing. Jack Harrison • 210-680-5096 propanesystems@gmail.com

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We have the resources and experience to make your thoughts a reality. 817-615-8393 • 800-267-9311 • www.alamocorporategroup.com

FOR SALE: 1996 Chevrolet C7500, 2600 Gallon barrel LCR Meter, LCR Register, 150ft hose Current VK & Hydro, Form 4 good through 2017 Very clean bobtail. $19,500 Call or email Josh, 281-259-2162 josh@texasstarpropane.com FOR SALE 1997 Ford bobtail 2600 gallon propane tank. Truck does not run. 1994 GMC bobtail 2800 gallon propane tank. Truck runs on propane and does run. Located in Cleburne Texas. Call for price 817-558-9117

FOR SALE: 2016 Ford 750 Bobtail, 3200 gallon tank, Roush system, 3000 miles. Excellent working condition. Dealer and employee references. Showcase model $119,000. 903-731-0163 or 936-577-2342 wduke@gmx.com

COMING Next Issue The Americans With Disabilities Act What is it and how does it affect small business.

August 2017 •

Texas Propane

29


Propane With Purpose

Propane Used to Create Biochar

Ever wondered what good could come from charred logs created during a forest fire? One company has found fortune in those remains, creating what they call Biochar. They shred the trees, cook the wood at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (using propane, of course) and sell the high-quality carbon product for a variety of uses. Added to the soil, it holds and slowly releases fertilizer and water, which can dramatically increase yield. Specialty crops like berries, grapes and citrus have been especially receptive to the new product. You can additionally drop the Biochar into algae-choked lakes in long cloth socks and it sucks up the excess phosphorus in the water and starves the algae. The negatively charged carbon also attracts and holds heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, and it is used in mine reclamation work. “If you leave the dead trees in the woods, they rot, and the

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

carbon goes back into the air, the methane goes back into the air,” said James Gaspard, with the company Biochar Now. “Biochar is one of the only technologies that has been verified to take gigatons out of the air…to roll back global warming.” “We literally break the carbon cycle,” he said. Is it charcoal? Yes and no. “We’re talking about a whole different grade of charcoal. We process our product at about three times the temperature of regular charcoal.” The company uses a variety of clean waste woods to start: beetle-killed pine, logs from forest fires, pallets and crates, and soon tree trimmings. Then they use propane burners to start a chemical process called pyrolysis that, in an oxygenfree state, turn the shredded wood into chunks of biochar. The process takes six to 14 hours to complete and depends on factors such as the type of word and the moisture content of the wood.




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