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GPS was placed in its bracket in the windshield and left in the sun. The battery overheated and exploded!

Looks like a good lesson to learn.

This could also apply to Cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, and other devices that use lithium batteries.

The US Postal Service will no longer ship electronic devices that contain lithium batteries. This may be a reason why.



See the images below for a look at the damage!


This week’s Safety message submitted by: Andy Nader, Safety And Training Coordinator, The Energy Cooperative.







b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_OPGA-Logo2.jpgLet's get the whole family together for an out-of-the-ordinary fun-filled experience!  Bring your children and grandchildren to enjoy the vibrant world of Sawmill Creek!  

The beautiful Sawmill Creek Resort is conveniently located just off Route 2.   Contact Sawmill Creek Resort at 1-800-729-6455 or visit their website: www.SawmillCreekResorts.com. 


Arriving at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron/Sandusky, Ohio, you immediately sense the beauty of this special place. Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, the 240 room Lodge, 18-hole Tom Fazio Golf course are set on 235 acres of affordable luxury. Three restaurants, marina, shops, pools, beautiful lakefront sand beach and a 500 acre nature preserve will satisfy your resort expectations set in a region of Ohio's largest tourism attractions and islands. 


There is no better place to enjoy Summer than when golfing, biking or hiking at Sawmill Creek Resort. Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve is the last remaining Ohio example of a Great Lakes coastal wetland; adjacent to Sawmill Creek Resort, and part of our trail walk.  Cattails and wildlife flourish here, along with kingfishers, egrets and, blanding turtles. This superlative mix of habitats provides for one of Ohio's premiere birding location.  


Area attractions include Cedar Point, Marblehead Light House, African Wildlife Safari, fishing, boating, wineries, and the many Lake Erie Islands!


The Ohio House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee held a hearing May 28 on HB 140, which would require licensure of residential construction contractors and create a Residential Builders' and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors' Licensing Board to regulate the licensure and performance of residential construction contractors.  The bill does not apply to electric, plumbing and heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractors licensed under Section 4740 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Rep. Patmon, the bill's sponsor, gave details about the changes included in a proposed substitute bill and said they came about because of an interested party meeting.

The substantive change, the sponsor said, included adding people from the industry to the licensing board. After he briefly discussed discussed caveat emptor, or "buyer beware," with Chairman Young, the substitute bill was accepted without objection.

After the action was taken on the bill, members of the committee peppered Patmon with questions about its specifics.

Patmon told Rep. DeVitis most fraud cases and violations occur between the $25,000 and $100,000 range, and he told Rep. Barborak that the bill does not change existing law in regard to "do-it-yourself" projects.

Rep. Damschroder asked about the kind of guarantee a consumer has if the consumer hires a licensed contractor over an unlicensed one. Patmon explained passing a test would be required to obtain a license.

The two discussed whether and where the dividing line between a "contractor" and a "handy-man" would be drawn, and the possibility of a contractor only doing work outside a certain geographical limit being required to have a license. Barborak also asked about the dividing line between a contractor and his subcontractors.

An appeals court has taken the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to task in an unusually harsh, 3-0 ruling this week that largely upheld a lower court decision ordering the agency to refund nearly $860 million to certain employers.


Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals in Cleveland said the trial court correctly determined that the BWC operated an unlawful rating system that granted excessive premium discounts to employers participating in the group rating system at the expense of nongroup-rated businesses.  

“Reduced to its irreducible essence, this appeal is about a cabal of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation bureaucrats and lobbyists for group sponsors who rigged workers’ compensation insurance premium rates so that for employers who participated in the BWC’s group rating plan (‘group-rated employers’), it was ‘heads we win,’ and for employers who did not participate in the group rating plan (‘nongroup-rated employers’), it was ‘tails you lose,’” Judge Kenneth Rocco said in the decision. 

 “For more than 15 years, the BWC allowed nongroup-rated employers to subsidize excessive, undeserved premium discounts to group-rated employers who were handpicked by group sponsors to participate in the BWC’s group rating plan. The temerity of the group sponsors, untempered by any notions of equity from or of the BWC, exacted a heavy price for nongroup-rated employers – over $859 million.”

 The BWC’s group rating programs, which are sponsored by local and statewide business groups, offer participants’ employees workplace safety training and gives employers significant savings on workers’ compensation premiums.

Judge Rocco said the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court was right to order the BWC to refund the overcharges the bureau unlawfully collected from non-group employers, but remanded the case back to the lower court to recalculate the award to account for class members who at times participated in the group rating system between 2001 and 2008.

Appeals court Judges Eileen Gallagher and Mary Eileen Kilbane concurred in the decision. 

Last week’s primary election was generally positive for free enterprise in Ohio. Of the 21 pro-business candidates endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (OCCPaC), 20 won their races and will now compete in the General Election. Additionally, State Issue 1 passed easily with 65 percent of the vote.


The endorsed candidates who claimed victory were bolstered by the chamber’s active involvement in their races, with all winning by margins of at least eight points. Rep. Peter Stautberg, whose district covers eastern Hamilton County, was the sole endorsed candidate to come up short, losing to former state representative Tom Brinkman 54-46 percent. The race was a rematch from the 2012 primary, which Rep. Stautberg won easily with 61 percent of the vote. Over twice as many ballots were cast two years ago though, and it was the low turnout that helped push Brinkman over the top this time.

Voter turnout was low across the state, with only about 17 percent of registered voters casting ballots. Though most incumbents were able to fend off challenges, there were two who lost, in addition to Rep. Stautberg. Republican Rep. Pete Beck, who has been indicted on 69 felony charges, took less than 10 percent of the vote in a three-way primary won by real estate developer Paul Zeltwanger. The only other incumbent to lose was Democrat Rep. Zack Milkovich, who lost to assistant Akron prosecutor Greta Johnson. That’s the second loss in a row for Rep. Milkovich, who had made an unsuccessful bid for Barberton clerk of courts last November.

Though he didn’t lose, Rep. Rex Damschroder is another incumbent who will not be returning to the General Assembly next year. He was forced to withdraw from the race due to faulty petitions, leaving no GOP candidates on the ballot and resulting in an unusual write-in contest featuring three aspirants. Car dealer Bill Reineke defeated Rep. Damschroder’s wife Rhonda to win the nomination.


Another important result for Ohio’s economy was the passage of State Issue 1, renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program. The ballot issue received an abundance of support from many organizations around the state. It authorizes $1.875 billion toward infrastructure improvement and repair projects across Ohio over the next 10 years. The program has been around for 27 years, having already financed 11,500 projects that are critical for economic growth and development. 

The staff of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on Tuesday proposed a 6.3% reduction in the premium rates charged to private employers.


If approved by the bureau’s board of directors, the cut would represent the eighth straight year in which premiums have fallen or remained steady.

“BWC has challenged itself to be part of the solution to Ohio’s economic recovery by keeping employers’ workers’ compensation rates affordable so they can prosper,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said in a statement. “While we’re pleased with this trend of lower and more stable rates for employers, we’re also tremendously pleased with our progress in fulfilling our mission to provide the highest quality care and return-to-work services to Ohioans who suffer workplace injuries."

The reduction is based largely on better-than-expected claim frequency and severity, according to BWC.

The agency said the proposed private sector rate cut would result in a reduction of $91 million in premium payments compared to the current rate.

Private sector rates fell by 2.1% in 2013, were steady in 2012 and dropped by 4% in 2011, BWC added.

“The most successful employers are those that understand safe and healthy employees are instrumental to a strong bottom line,” Mr. Buehrer said. “Going forward, BWC will be intensely focused on the issue of workplace safety and educating employers about the benefits of investing in injury and illness prevention.”

The proposal is expected to be considered at the bureau’s next board meeting on May 22.

U.S. propane stocks increased by 0.9 million barrels last week to 26.6 million barrels as of March 28, 2014, 13.2 million barrels (33.1%) lower than a year ago. Midwest inventories increased by 0.5 million barrels and Gulf Coast inventories increased by 0.4 million barrels. Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories and East Coast inventories both remained unchanged. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 12.5% of total propane inventories up.

Requirements  for training in the proper handling  and operational procedures of propane related work assignments has been  included in every edition of NFPA 58 since the very early 1930’s.  

Over the year the codes have been strengthened and reiterated.   Examples of these requirements can be found in various editions of NFPA 58 in Section 4.4.   Since 1992 this training and subsequent refresher training must be documented.    

Since 2001 Refresher Training has been mandated on a 3-year cycle.  Section 4.4.3 of the latest edition of NFPA states:  REFRESHER TRAINING SHALL BE PROVIDED AT LEAST EVEY THREE YEARS.

The 2014 Edition of NFPA LP-GAS CODE HANDBOOK edited by DENISE BEACH, Senior Engineer, NFPA on page 53 reads as follows: “The requirement for refresher training every three years recognizes that ongoing reinforcement of training is needed, especially for task that are not normally part of the job function, but that the employee may be called on to do.   For example, a bobtail driver may occasionally be called on to fill cylinders at a dispensing station at the propane company’s plant.  The driver clearly must have been trained on filling stationary tanks, but must also be trained to fill cylinders”.

The 2014 Edition of NFPA 58, page 53, requires all persons whose duties fall within the scope of the code to be trained in accordance with their job function.

We all know that that most propane industry employees are cross trained in more than one discipline.  Therefore it stands to reason that refresher training should cover all assignments the employee may be called upon to perform at any given time.  With that in mind, OPGA is offering a two day refresher training course with a written exam and documentation of training to facilitate Member Companies with the requirements as described in NFPA 58 The LP-GAS CODE HANDBOOK.

The two day training is formatted into two separate sessions to cover many of the work assignments within the propane industry.

For instance Day 1 of the refresher training is broken down to review Propane Basics Principles and Practices; OSHA and PPE, Fire Extinguisher Training Review, Basic Plant Operations Review, Pump Operations, High Priority Service Calls for Gas Odors and Leak Checks, General Safe Driving Procedures for Propane Delivery Vehicles and Handling Propane Emergencies.

Day 2 the refresher training is presented to review Propane Cylinder Inspections and Requalification’s and Labeling, NFPA required Propane Distribution Lines, Fittings and Regulators, Importance of Ventilation for Propane Fired Appliances, ASME Tank inspections prior to setting, prior to refilling and during a leak check, Purging and Flaring Propane Containers, Methanol Injections, Evacuating ASME Containers on site, Installing ASME Tanks and conducting Pressure Checks on New Distribution Lines, Flow Pressure and Lock Up Testing of Regulators.

Each day of Training has a 50 Question written exam upon conclusion of the seminar.

This training, as well as the ongoing in-house Safety Training Program of the member companies, CETP classes and documented on the job training will assist the propane industry employer with compliance of the NFPA 58, USDOT and OSHA Refresher Training requirements.

The importance of documentation of training cannot be over stated.  If it isn’t documented, it is difficult to prove it happen.

Participation in these two Refresher Training sessions is an easy, useful and verifiable training venue for your propane company to take advantage of.  Two separate two day sessions are scheduled in one week.  With sufficient interest from member companies additional training dates can be added, however a minimum of 7 registered attendees is required to conduct the training. 

Dear Industry Colleague: 



NPGA just has learned that the Senate Finance Committee will markup a tax extenders bill next Wednesday, April 2, 2014


It is imperative that you contact both your Senators as soon as possible.


Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator's office.  


Click here to find your U.S. Senators. 


Here are some talking points you can use when you get through to the office:


1.       Introduce yourself as a constituent from the state and ask for the          

          staffer handling tax issues.  If  unavailable, ask for the energy staffer.


2.       When you get through to the staffer:


a.    Introduce yourself and your company again and state your interest in the Senate Finance Committee's markup of the tax extenders bill.


b. State that you are calling specifically about the extension of alternative fuel tax credits that currently include propane (aka liquefied petroleum gas)


c.   Urge the Senator to support a two-year extension of:                                  


i. The 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit covered in tax code Section 6426(d)


ii.  The refueling infrastructure tax credit covered in tax code Section 30(c).


3.  These tax credits are very important for the alternative fuel vehicle sector. They will spur growth of clean alternatives to gasoline and diesel, and they will help reduce harmful emissions.


4.       If your Senator is a Democrat, it is very important that you urge him or her to express support directly to Senator Wyden's office.


5.       If your Senator is a Republican, have them contact Senator Hatch's office to express support for your requests.


 6.       It will be very helpful if you would let us know the reaction you receive to  your phone calls, so email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Thank you for your help!  Every contact is critical! 


The Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed the Vehicle Conversion Bill, HB 336, March 26.  The bill would create the Gaseous Fuel Vehicle Conversion Program which would create several financial incentives for the purchase of conversion or alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs). These include grants for state agencies, political subdivisions, school districts, public transportation systems and nonprofit corporations. The legislation would also create tax credits for the purchase or conversion of alternative fueled vehicles by private businesses and consumers. Grants and tax credits would be capped at three different levels based on vehicle weight class. 


Both natural gas vehicles and propane autogas vehicles would be eligible. In addition, there is a $500 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles. These incentives are temporary, expiring after five years.


Propane marketers and other Ohio businesses could better avoid the damaging effects of state agency regulations if “no change” departmental rules are subjected to the same standards as new rules. Senate Bill 3 would do that and would also plug other important gaps in Ohio’s regulatory oversight process, including subjecting any rule-making by the five statewide elective offices to a business impact analysis.   

Existing Ohio law requires all 15,000+ rules in the state’s administrative code to be reviewed every five years and filed with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). If the state agency reviewing the rule doesn’t make any changes, it is called a five-year “no change” review. In 2011, the Common Sense Initiative Office (CSI) was created to independently evaluate the economic impact of state agency regulations on businesses and to reduce that impact wherever possible. However, the legislation creating CSI did not include “no change” rules in the CSI review process. SB 3 corrects that omission and requires “no change” rules with an adverse impact on business to first be sent through the CSI process before being filed with JCARR.

SB 3 would ensure that compliance with state regulations is as easy and inexpensive as possible and that proposed rules facilitate rather than hinder economic growth, are transparent and responsive, and are enforced fairly and consistently. Testifying to CSI’s effectiveness is the fact  that of the 1,543 regulations reviewed in 2013, 59% were either rescinded or amended and thus revised toward a more business-friendly outcome. 

Currently, over one-fourth of all rules filed are “no change” rules and, under today’s system, are not subject to a business impact analysis. Some of these rules have been on the books for decades and have significant costs associated with them. Having “no change” rules become subject to the same process as new rules, as intended by SB 3, will cut down on government red tape and foster greater continuity, transparency and fairness. 

Ohio PERC has announced the 2014 CETP Class schedule. Please visit http://www.ohiopropanegas.org/cetp for schedule and registration details. 

For Messer Construction, Gov. John Kasich's proposed change to a tiny tax could be a big problem.

The company that's built Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, the latest Children's Hospital research building and much of the streetcar construction frequently handles projects that reach into the hundreds of millions. So the state's 0.26 percent tax on all business activity in Ohio adds up.

And Kasich's proposal to increase that tax to 0.3 percent would mean adding hundreds of thousands of dollars onto Messer customers' bills.

"When you do a huge, $100 million project, that comes to pretty substantial dollars," said Matt Barney, Messer's director of cost accounting.


I am very pleased to announce that as of last night both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have unanimously passed legislation extending hours of service waivers for propane deliveries through May 31, 2014.  It now goes to President Obama for his signature.


This bill moved through Congress with lightning speed, going through the entire legislative process in only 17 days.  I attribute this remarkable feat to the fact that our industry maintained a high, positive profile throughout the 2014 heating season providing recommendations to policymakers on the state and federal levels.  Your contacts with Representatives and Senators, supported by a knowledgeable and active NPGA advocacy staff, made all the difference in pushing this bill through. 


We have more work to do, but for now I'd like to say thank you for a job well done.


Our news release and more information is available from the NPGA website www.npga.org.



Richard Roldan 

NPGA President & CEO

Higher taxes on tobacco, oil and gas operations and business activities would provide the revenue to offset much of a sizable personal income tax cut expected under Governor Kasich’s mid-biennium review budget bill (MBR) set for unveiling this week. 

This new MBR will be introduced into the House of Representatives and will be split into 10-20 separate bills to be studied by various legislative committees. 

As expected, the governor will bring back his plan to increase the oil and gas severance tax, which the GOP-led legislature previously rejected, to help pay for the PIT cut, according to sources briefed by the administration on the proposal. 

While the House’s own version of a severance tax rewrite would set the tax rate at 2.25%, Mr. Kasich is seeking an increase to 2.75%. 

The governor as part of the “tax reform” package may propose an increase in the Commercial Activity Tax rate from 0.26% to 0.30%. The gross receipts-based tax has been lagging against estimates for several months and has been an area of concern for the administration. 

The governor also proposes to increase taxes on tobacco and tax e-cigarettes, sources said. The plan includes two 30-cent increases over two years for cigarettes, and the “equalization” of taxes on “other tobacco products.” 

U.S. Rep. John Boehner R-West Chester), the speaker of the House, celebrated the chamber’s passage of home energy assistance legislation March 4.  “Propane shortages in Ohio and across the nation are driving energy bills through the roof and leaving families concerned they won’t be able to heat their homes as freezing temperatures continue,” he said. “Chairman Shuster’s bill mirrors actions taken by Gov. (John) Kasich to help expedite the delivery of propane and home heating oil to areas where it is most desperately needed. The bill is backed by both parties, and Senate Democrats should waste no time in sending it to the president’s desk.” 

Sen. Brown, meanwhile, on March 5 sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration urging it to use its full resources to backstop short-term loans to small businesses impacted by the national propane shortage. 

“Although the price of propane has come down a bit, Ohio’s propane suppliers are still feeling the effects of a winter where supply prices increased more than 19%,” he said. “It’s crucial that small businesses in Ohio receive the short-term help they need to keep their doors open and continue to supply families and small businesses with the resources they need to stay warm through the remainder of this rough winter.”

The Kasich administration announced Tuesday that it is extending the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program’s application deadline from March 31 to April 15. The program assists eligible households that have been disconnected or threatened with disconnection, or have bulk fuel tanks below 36 percent capacity.

“Our heating bills for these cold winter days will come due in March/early April. Extending the Winter Crisis Program allows Ohioans, who didn’t think they would need help, the opportunity to receive it,” Development Services Agency Director David Goodman said in a release.

Goodman said 116,000 Ohioans have benefitted from the Winter Crisis Program since it commenced this year in November 2013.

To qualify, a household must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guideline and undergo a face-to-face interview with their Winter Crisis Program provider, a list of which can be found at http://development.ohio.gov/is/is_heapsummer_prov.htm

More information is available Monday through Friday at the program’s toll-free hotline, 800-282-0880, or at energyhelp.ohio.gov. Hearing-impaired customers may also contact 800-686-1557 for assistance.

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has extended the Regional Emergency Declaration for the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio to March 15 . 
As with the previous regional exemptions drivers working under this declaration for relief of Hours of Service regulations must carry a copy in their vehicle.  
Download a copy of the extension document here.

As announced at the recent Winter Board meeting, NPGA has established a Supply and Infrastructure Task Force charged with conducting a comprehensive post winter season analysis to identify causes and contributing factors, analyze, debate and provide recommendations to the NPGA Executive Committee for future efforts and strategy as it relates to propane supply, distribution and infrastructure.  


In addition to the central Task Force, NPGA staff, PERC staff, industry experts and 5 advisory State Executives will help support and provide counsel with the 6 Focus Areas and Working Groups.  This will provide a thorough analysis and review covering all areas of concern as the task force represents input from every geographic region, subject matter experts, and local to national marketers.  


Focus Areas:  The taskforce will divide their focus into 6 topic areas, including: 


  • PR Communications: This group will provide consistent coordinated messaging with information evolving for the following audiences: State and Federal officials, National and Local Media, Marketers and Consumers, especially consumer outreach to retain confidence and reassure in gallon growth segments.
  • Industry/Marketer Education: This group will address marketer actions (best practices) that can be taken to be better prepared for winter peak demand including how much secondary storage vs gallon sales, truck support, winter only storage, etc. 
  • Consumer Education: This group will address consumer actions that can be taken to include segments that lead to significant demand spikes without summer and allocation building demand like Crop Drying, Curtailment (IC propane users cut off from their NG supply), Chicken/Turkey growers.  The group will address what can be asked of State and Federal Government to support customer infrastructure investment (e.g., ag customer installing an additional 18k tank), and Fuel Cost assistance resources and process review.  
  • Infrastructure and Distribution: This group will address the infrastructure projects that we can and should promote with State and Federal officials, Producers and Pipeline companies. It will also address the question, "What State and Federal actions can be taken in advance of and during a 'state of emergency?'" 
  • Exports and National Inventory Analysis: This group will review and provide feedback on the Export Study, recently commissioned by NPGA, as well as analyze inventory data and develop recommendations for minimal inventory levels and trigger points for industry and government.  
  • Cochin Reversal Impact:  This group will provide recommendations on how the industry can best adapt to the Cochin reversal.  This will have crossover with Infrastructure and Distribution focus area, but this is a material change to the Industry where it's own detailed review was deemed necessary.

Results of the task force and continued efforts from some TF members will dovetail into the support of DOE's Quadrennial Review and possible recommendations for Transportation Section Membership initiatives. 

U.S. propane stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels to end at 26.7 million barrels last week, 24.4 million barrels (47.7%) lower than a year ago. Gulf Coast inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels, and East Coast inventories dropped by 0.4 million barrels. Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories decreased by 0.2 million barrels, and Midwest inventories fell by 0.1 million barrels. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 13.1% of total propane inventories

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