February 2014

NACS Online


Computerworld targets five issues that could slow down U.S. adoption of EMV smartcards.

February 12, 2014

​FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Switching U.S. payment technology to the Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) smartcard system might take more time than anticipated and provide less security than currently proposed, Computerworld reports. Following the recent spat of massive data violations at Neiman Marcus, Michaels and Target, many experts and lawmakers have touted the EMV standards as a solution to such security breaches.

The publication lists five issues that could hamper the switch to EMV smartcard standards in the United States. First, changing to EMV would run into the billions of dollars. EMV card readers are priced at hundreds of dollars each. Gray Taylor, executive director of PCATS, said the convenience store and petroleum retail industry would shell out close to $4 billion to change around 800,000 POS systems to accept EMV cards. Across the country, retailers would be upgrading or exchanging roughly 13 million POS systems. “That is a big expense that we are going to have to pass down to the consumer,” said Taylor.

Second, the security return-on-investment isn’t clear. In other words, if retailers invest in EMV technology, their systems still might not be secure enough to prevent massive data breaches. That’s because EMV can be implemented in less secure ways, such as not requiring a PIN, which hasn’t been a mandatory requirement.

“It is not the enhanced security system that retailers have long-called for,” said Brain Dodge, senior vice president of communications at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “There is an enormous cost with moving systems to EMV. From the retailers’ perspective, the added protection we are getting (from smartcards) is not enough to justify the expense” unless PINs are mandatory.

Third, it’s not just an issue of requiring a PIN. U.S plans for implementing EMV technology would allow magnetic stripes on the card’s back, which weakens the security of a smartcard.

Fourth, time is not on our side. While MasterCard and Visa have set October 2015 as the deadline for moving to EMV payments, it will take much longer to make the wholesale switch. Canada started the change to EMV a decade ago, and still has only around 85% of its POS systems able to accept EMV cards. Banks, too, have been dragging their feet in issuing EMV smartcards. “Visa and MasterCard are hell bent on making us homogenous with the rest of the world. But the fact is that we’re going to be the last guys in on an aging technology,” said Taylor.

Fifth, legal obstacles to EMV smartcards center around the Durbin Amendment, which gave merchants a choice between at least two independent networks for debit card transaction processing. That issue still hasn’t been decided in court, and won’t be until this fall, so retailers can’t move ahead on EMV smartcards for signature debit card and PIN transactions.





February 10, 2014


21. Owners or operators of gasoline dispensing facilities subject to the Stage II vapor recovery

control requirements shall fully decommission their Stage II vapor recovery systems in

accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

(i) Beginning May 1, 2014, owners or operators of gasoline dispensing facilities with Stage II

vapor recovery systems may commence decommissioning of those systems. Decommissioning

of the Stage II vapor recovery systems shall be completed no later than April 30, 2016.

(ii) An existing Stage II vapor recovery system shall be decommissioned only in accordance

with the requirements in this Subparagraph.

(I) The entire existing Stage II vapor recovery system shall be fully decommissioned prior to the

Stage II system no longer being operated and maintained as required by this rule and the terms

and conditions of the system’s currently applicable CARB Executive Order and Approval Letters.

(II) The gasoline dispensers connected to the Stage II vapor recovery system shall be taken out

of service prior to the start of decommissioning and shall not be brought back into service to

dispense gasoline until the requirements in this Subparagraph have been met.

(III) If the Stage II vapor recovery system has any liquid-collection points and liquid is present,

the liquid must be removed and disposed of properly. If the liquid-collection point has a tube

leading back to the submersible pump, the tube must be disconnected at the submersible pump,

and the tube sealed properly so that it is vapor tight. A plug must be installed in the vacuum

pump to seal the vacuum port. As an alternative to sealing the tube, the tube may be removed

completely as long as the opening for the tube in the liquid-collection point is sealed so that it is

vapor tight. The liquid-collection point cap shall create a vapor tight seal when placed on the

liquid-collection point.

(IV) If the Stage II vapor recovery system includes a vapor pump for each fueling position, the

vapor pump shall be disabled or removed.

(V) If the Stage II vapor-recovery system includes a centrally-located vacuum pump, the

vacuum-pumping mechanism shall be removed. After removing the vacuum-generating

mechanism, the vapor piping that was attached to the vapor pump must be sealed so that it is

vapor tight.

(VI) The below-grade vapor piping shall be disconnected from the dispenser at a point that is at

or below the level of the base of the dispenser. The below-grade vapor piping shall be properly

sealed so that it is vapor tight.

(VII) The lower end of the vapor piping inside of each dispenser cabinet shall be sealed so that

it is vapor tight.

(VIII) The vapor recovery piping connection at the storage tank shall be disconnected if it can

be disconnected without excavation. If the vapor recovery piping is disconnected at the storage

tank, the dispenser and tank side of the vapor piping shall be sealed so that it is vapor tight.

(IX) A rubber cap held in place by a hose clamp shall not be used to seal the vapor piping for

any of the requirements in this subparagraph.

(X) If Stage II vapor recovery system operating instructions are posted on dispensers, the

operating instructions shall be removed.

(iii) Within 30 calendar days of meeting the requirements in Subparagraph 21.(ii), a pressure

decay test and tie-tank test shall be conducted to insure that the Stage I vapor recovery system

is vapor tight and the storage tank vents are still functional. The pressure decay test shall be

conducted in accordance with and meet the performance requirements in the CARB test

procedure TP-201.3 “Determination of 2 Inch WC Static Pressure Performance of Vapor

Recovery Systems of Dispensing Facilities” adopted on April 12, 1996, and amended on March

17, 1999. The tie-tank test shall be conducted in accordance with and meet the performance

requirements in the CARB test procedure TP201.3C “Determination of Vapor Piping

Connections to Underground Gasoline Storage Tanks” (Tie-Tank Test) adopted on March 17,


(iv) The gasoline dispensing facility owner or operator shall notify the Division a minimum of five

business days, as defined by the Division, prior to the testing required for the decommissioning

of the Stage II vapor recovery system as specified by Subparagraph 21.(iii). The owner or

operator shall use and complete the notification form provided by the Division.

(v) The gasoline dispensing facility owner or operator shall submit a complete test report

containing the results of the testing required by Subparagraph 21.(iii) within 30 days of the test

date to the Division. The test report form shall be provided by the Division and must be used

and completed in its entirety by the owner or operator. The report shall include results of all

tests conducted for decommissioning of the Stage II vapor recovery system.


(vi) The gasoline dispensing facility owner or operator shall maintain the following records on

site for two years after decommissioning:

(I) Contracts and invoices associated with decommissioning of the Stage II vapor recovery


(II) Contracts, invoices, and test results for required testing for decommissioning of the Stage II

vapor recovery system.

(vii) A gasoline dispensing facility is considered fully decommissioned once the following

conditions have been met:

(I) All of the requirements in Subparagraph 21.(ii) have been met;

(II) All tests required in Subparagraph 21.(iii) have been conducted and performance

requirements met; and

(III) Test report(s) as required in Subparagraph 21.(v) have been submitted to and approved by

the Division.


January 2014



Come 2015, experts say nearly all credit cards in the United States will be embedded with an encrypted chip that requires a PIN to activate it.
January 13, 2014

​MCLEAN, Va. – In light of the recent Target data breach, more attention is being paid to EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) cards as a way to help protect personal consumer information and reduce counterfeiting.

USA Today reports that cards embedded with an encrypted chip, which requires a personal identification number to access, “represent the latest weapon in the battle against counterfeiters.” And according to industry experts, up to 95% of credit cards in the U.S. will have the chips by 2015 — a significant jump from the mere 1% to 5% of cards in the U.S. today that use the technology.

Bruce Schmiedlin, an accountant at The Grimes, is among the roughly 5% of cardholders in the U.S. who has an EMV MasterCard. Using his card, however, brings to light a learning curve that merchants will need to address sooner than later — MasterCard is mandating that issuers and merchants must come on board with EMV by Oct. 1, 2015, or face greater liability and penalties for instances of credit card fraud.

“As a consumer, I was disappointed (card issuers) didn’t give any education for consumers to help the merchants,” Schmidelin told the newspaper of a run-in with a clerk who was confused by the EMV card. When the clerk swiped Schmiedlin’s card, he was prompted to insert it into an EMV-compatible terminal.

USA Today noted that experts admit EMV cards “won’t eliminate fraud if a card is lost or stolen; they are aimed at reducing counterfeiting.” Citing U.S. Department of Justice data, one-third of fraud reports are related to counterfeit cards, “the largest percentage of credit card fraud.”

For now, U.S. EMV cards have both a chip and magnetic strip to ease the transition, but the goal is to move all credit card holders to chip-only cards. In the meantime, as more merchants adopt EMV, consumers like Schmiedlin could face similar frustrations with untrained cashiers. But frustrations aside, he says the trade-off is worth it.

“Even if they get your swipe data, if everyone goes over to the chip readers, that will be a whole lot harder to produce,” he told the newspaper. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

May 2013



NACS is joining a diverse group of industry stakeholders at one of three Natural Gas Forums hosted by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

May 13, 2013

​WASHINGTON – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced a diverse group of natural gas producers, distributors, utilities, environmental groups, regulators, consumers and exporters who will share their perspectives on natural gas issues at a series of forums beginning this week.

The committee is holding three public listening sessions over the next two weeks to gather information from stakeholders with an interest in ensuring federal policy evolves to take into account the new supplies of natural gas that have become accessible in recent years. The sessions will be held in a roundtable format to encourage open discussion and allow flexibility to find areas of agreement.

Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have pledged to approach the forums without a predetermined outcome or legislation in mind other than to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of the nation’s natural gas reserves. The series builds on a hearing looking at opportunities and challenges for natural gas that the committee held in February.

NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger will speak on behalf of the industry at the Infrastructure, Transportation, Research and Innovation Forum on May 14 at 10:00 am (EDT), which will explore what the next applications are for natural gas and how this new demand will be met. Pipeline infrastructure and increased use of natural gas in the transportation sector will be specific points of interest. The forum will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the forum is complete.

“You don’t often see representatives from natural gas drilling companies and chemical producers and conservation groups sit down at the same table in a public forum, but that’s exactly what we’re doing with these round tables,” Wyden said. “If we do this right, natural gas has the potential to lift up our country’s economy and pave the way to a future that has both more jobs and a cleaner environment with a smaller carbon footprint. Senator Murkowski and I want to hear from the people who deal with these issues every day about where there might be common ground on how to maximize the value of this vital resource.”

“Technological advances have allowed us to access vast quantities of natural gas not thought possible just a few years ago. This new energy source is a game changer for the United States, providing an abundant, affordable and clean source of energy to fuel our economy,” Murkowski said. “My interest in holding these roundtables is to ensure that the federal government is supporting, and not thwarting, responsible development of this resource, its transport to market and consumers for power generation and home heating, and its use in the manufacturing and transportation industries, as well as exports to our friends and allies. I look forward to hearing from all of these stakeholders about what’s working, what’s not, and what we can do better.”​

April 2013



The association provided answers to questions raised from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding issues related to the Renewable Fuels Standard.

April 10, 2013

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Yesterday, NACS sent a response to questions (PDF)​ from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce white paper on the blend wall and Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The letter was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA).

The response stated: “In general, NACS believes that the fundamental assumptions that guided Congress’ decision to expand the RFS in 2007 have changed. At that time, most expected the nation’s fuel demand and reliance on imported energy supplies to continue on an unrelenting upward trajectory. Today, these assumptions are no longer accurate — yet the program enacted in 2007 remains unchanged.

“The domestic fuels market is dynamic and conditions are ever changing. As such, it is important any long-term fuels policy be constructed with inherent flexibility to accommodate such changing market conditions. If not, the market is bound to encounter unintended consequences, most of which will be very difficult and potentially expensive to overcome. Ultimately, all expenses incurred by the market will be borne by the consumer. We are beginning to encounter such challenges with the implementation of the RFS and it is appropriate that Congress begin asking questions about the implementation strategy and the effect this program will have on the market.”

The response outlined in detail answers to questions about the effect of the blend wall on gasoline retail prices and the impact of E15. “NACS appreciates your interest in reviewing the complex issues surrounding this program and encourages you to proceed cautiously, to avoid politically charged reactionary policies and to consider options that will promote regulatory certainty and enable the market to deliver to the consumer the fuels they demand in the most cost efficient manner possible.”​