NPGA Bobtail

Virginia Passes Emergency Fill Legislation

Last week, Virginia’s House of Delegates passed, with bipartisan support, SB 1298, which outlines new regulations governing tank fills during times of emergency. The legislation passed the Senate with unanimous support in January.

SB 1298 states that, during a qualifying emergency, a residential propane customer who can demonstrate that they have less than a 24-hour supply of fuel in their tank may request delivery from a different supplier, even if that supplier doesn’t own the tank, after first making a good faith attempt to secure fuel from their contracted supplier. The customer’s contracted supplier would then have 24 hours to make a delivery and fill the tank. In essence, the bill would temporarily suspend Virginia’s container law during a declared state of emergency, as defined in the law.

Zach Eisenman, Executive Director of the Virginia Propane Gas Association, has been tracking the bill since its introduction. “We were a bit surprised when this bill was filed at the beginning of the General Assembly session, but made sure to act swiftly to connect with the patron, understand his concerns, and relay our feedback,” Eisenman said. “As with a lot of legislation, the original bill was well intended, but vague and prone to misinterpretation. We undertook a collaborative effort amongst our association leadership and membership to develop and submit changes and amendments to the bill to address the possible emergency issue without major impacts to current law and regulations.”

SB 1298 is now headed to Governor Youngkin’s desk. For more information, contact NPGA’s Jacob Peterson.