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New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

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  • New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

    We just received our Jan '09 safety inspection news letter. It said to expect new requirements for alt fuel vehicles starting in the middle of January. I called to see if I could find details. The person read me the text of the rules. As far as I could understand it requires compliance to nfp 52 and FMVSS 571.301. I did NOT hear anything about tank inspections or expired tanks. She would not fax it to me because it may not yet be final. When the new 2009/2010 manual is available (free .pdf). It will be at safetyinspections.utah.gov

  • #2
    Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan.

    I just read through the safety inspection manual referred to in your link. They have virtually no mention of CNG systems and some of what they do mention is wrong. They have a safety note (page 69) that says LPG and Natural Gas leaks may accumulate at ground level.

    In reality, it's true that propane is heavier than air and will accumulate at ground level but CNG is lighter than air and will vent upwards.
    2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
    2013 Tesla Model S 85

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan.

      Originally posted by nttrainer View Post
      I just read through the safety inspection manual referred to in your link. They have virtually no mention of CNG systems and some of what they do mention is wrong. They have a safety note (page 69) that says LPG and Natural Gas leaks may accumulate at ground level.

      In reality, it's true that propane is heavier than air and will accumulate at ground level but CNG is lighter than air and will vent upwards.
      The document on the site is still the 2008. As karl mentioned, they haven't finalized the 2009/2010 manual for distribution yet. The stark lack of Alt Fuel checks in the 2008 version is WHY they are adding a bunch of stuff to the 09/10
      1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
      2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is the document - EPA/CARB mandatory

        My friend who has an IM station forwarded this to me.
        It's official: Conversions performed after 2002 without EPA or CARB certification = can not license the vehicle.

        Channel 2 news estimates 4,000 illegal conversions are affected. Discussion here:
        http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4236
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Here is the document - EPA/CARB mandatory

          As much as this is a pain for Utards to swallow. I think in the long run, this will be good for not only Utah, but for the entire nation. In the short run, there will (if not already) be thousands of people upset. Maybe even lawsuits filed. The hardest jump I had to make was: Why is UHP using the EPA regulations as basis for safety regulations? The EPA doesn't issue safety regulations, they just care about the environment. It is true that all EPA certified kits must conform to NFPA 52 requirements, but this does not mean that all non-EPA certified kits do not. I understand there are non-EPA certified kits out there that are safe, and the people installing them are ASE CNG certified and know what they are doing. But I believe what UHP is doing here is simplifying the safety regulations. Putting EPA aside for a moment, can you imagine how much time and money it would take to train all the I/M inspection houses in the state on every NFPA 52 requirement regarding not only CNG conversions, but LPG, LNG, hydrogen, etc.? The Inspection Manual would be hundreds of pages! Like I said, in the long run, I think this is a good thing. Some regulation needs to be in place or else someone is going to lose their life on Utah's roads or at the filling station. The best thing I like about the new inspection requirements is the verification of the tank inspection.
          Last edited by Highmarker; 01-15-2009, 10:40 AM. Reason: Spelling corrections
          Jared.
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

            I was look at the Utah safety inspection document this morning and used it as part of a Cylinder Inspector Certification class this morning. Something struck me as a little odd. In the introductry paragraph it makes reference to Federal Motor Vehicle Safet Standard (FMVSS) 301 (49 CFR 571.301). FMVSS 301 deals with liquid fuel tanks that contain fuel that boils above 0 deg. C.

            CNG has a boiling point of -260 deg, F, well below 0 deg C. Propane (NFPA 58), although stored as liquid, boils at -44 deg F, again well below 0 deg. C.

            In my not so humble opinion, the reference to 301 does not apply to topic of section 12 (if it is full text of section 12). Someone made a mistake. The proper section of reference for the topic of section 12 should be FMVSS 303, Fuel System Integrity of compressed Natural Gas Vehicles.

            Who, in the state could respond to my comments??

            Other wise it is a good document.

            Larrycng

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

              Originally posted by larrycng View Post
              In my not so humble opinion, the reference to 301 does not apply to topic of section 12 (if it is full text of section 12). Someone made a mistake. The proper section of reference for the topic of section 12 should be FMVSS 303, Fuel System Integrity of compressed Natural Gas Vehicles.

              Who, in the state could respond to my comments??

              Other wise it is a good document.

              Larrycng
              Larry,

              You can visit the following website:

              www.safetyinspections.utah.gov

              There is contact info there for the Utah Highway Patrol. You can also click on the "Contact Safety Inspection" tab on the right and enter in your comments directly.
              Jared.
              Mountain Green, Utah
              2003 CNG Cavalier
              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

                Thanks Highmarker its has been done

                Larrycng

                Comment


                • #9
                  You won the battle but lost the WAR

                  TO: John Mitton and All Staunch EPA Certified Conversion Supporters
                  I just read the 2009 Utah Safety Inspection Requirements and was disappointed that only a EPA Certified Conversion was allowed. You’ve advocated, verbalize, lobbied and fought for EPA Certified Conversions only and you won. Congratulations

                  All NGVers had common goals: cheaper fuel costs, cleaner air, less dependency on foreign oil and many others. Money we saved at the pump was redirected into other household expenses and eased the burden of the current economic hardship that is hitting everybody.

                  There ARE conversions that meet EPA and state emission standards but the cost for certification was too high for the market to bear.

                  There ARE installations that meet safety criteria and standards.

                  But instead of advocating for a policy for Conversions to meet emission tests and safety standards, you advocated for EPA Certified Conversions only which are cost prohibitive to the common person.
                  You won the Battle!

                  I loose: Before my next vehicle inspection, I have to get my conversion ripped out long before the fuel savings pay for the conversion.
                  I loose because I no longer have a fuel savings at the pump.
                  Utahans loose because my exhaust will increase the Wasatch front pollution which already exceeds the EPA standard (oxymoron?).
                  America looses because economically I’m forced back into the gasoline line.

                  You loose because I no longer have a reason to fight HARD for reasonable NGV rates.
                  You loose because I no longer have a reason to fight HARD to increase the availability and quality of NGV service in Utah.
                  You loose because new NGV vehicles will no longer be as attractive with high CNG rates.
                  What is the ratio of EPA Conversions to Non EPA conversion vehicles in Utah? What ever it is, you’ve just lost their support, too!

                  Don’t take me wrong, I will continue to support NGV issues but it is no long a priority or a passion. A policy to meet emissions and safety requirements would have benefited everybody.

                  It is unfortunate that you have advocated so hard to eliminate Non EPA Conversions.
                  You won the battle
                  but lost the WAR
                  Last edited by vaughnr007; 01-16-2009, 02:00 PM.
                  Robert
                  "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." Henry Ford

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New rules for Utah - EPA cert only - -ARRGGH!!

                    Based on worldwide interest I've taken with CNG in past couple years, I have to AGREE with Vaughnr007 that Utah now cracking down on "non EPA conversions" is basically Big Oil "legalized" KILLING of CNG movement that was fueled mostly in Utah (ie based on low fuel price). Now with Utah PSC (with likely more help from Big Oil or Pres Bush Jr or EPA), the pump price was jacked up to $1.43 for no logical reason. How stupid do they think we are . . . commodity price of NG is now UNDER $5/Mcf . . . virtually EVERY public cng pump all across USA should be under a dollar!!!! Plus, there was NO JUSTIFICATION from the outset that Utah should have to pay NYMEX prices for NG when there are massive amounts of NG right there in Utah and Questar ratepayers already paid the exploration and drilling costs . . . . PSC is now just boondoggle frontman for Big Oil . . ARRGGHHHHH!!!###%%$$$!!!

                    Tell me why USA-wide conversion standards couldn't have been implemented to test and certify (with grandfathering rules) so that quality conversions done in Utah and Arizona in past 10 years could continue in operation??

                    I have yet to read a single article or news report of massive accidents or killings of NGV autos using cng in Brazil or Argentina - - - both countries which have are OVER 1.5 MILLION cng vehicles on the road. USA is just so lawsuit-scared or just plain stupid that we let CNG bumble along when we all KNOW without a doubt that CNG is DEFINITELY the solution now for energy crisis in the USA . . . AND on top of that, CNG will drastically reduce emissions!!! So the wimpy 150,000 cng vehicles in USA (some minor percentage of which are "non-EPA conversions") now pose some sort of new safety threat?? Come on, that's bull.

                    USA needs to have nationwide conversion shops (albeit authorized/bonded shops that have proven to install safe and reliable cng systems) so that some of the existing normal petrol vehicles are converted NOW to bi-fuel with CNG. Industry should be self-regulator of what safety standards should be and NOT political group like EPA that is just right arm of VP Cheney (Halliburton) or some other Big Oil group. This is only way to QUICKLY wean USA off of dependence on foreign oil. Argentina and Brazil understand this . . . . at one point, those countries were converting up to 18,000 vehicles a MONTH to bi-fuel cng!!! USA is lucky to sell that many new cng vehicles a YEAR . . . . what a joke!!

                    I understand you have won EPA certification for Impala bi-fuel . . . . that's great and I applaud you. But what's happening now in Utah is NOT good for the long-term health of CNG!! Gestapo tactics should have ceased once the Nazi's were defeated in WWII. Maybe the stories about Big Oil killing the guys who invented 100 mpg carburator were true!! Next are we going to kill the guys who invented Tesla electric car??
                    Last edited by cngacrossusa; 01-16-2009, 03:05 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

                      I've been thinking quite a bit about it and I think that UHP using epa/carb as a safety standard is a bad idea. I very
                      much support parts a1 to a7 but I think a8 goes too far.

                      I think it will go wrong in a number of ways.

                      The state will likely have to spend big money defending law suits from consumers and kit manufacturers.
                      Epa regulations are far to complicated and there ARE some gray areas.(pre emission, pre obd II, off road,exemptions
                      ect.)

                      A high percentage will remove thier kits and be done with cng forever. People a bad experience with cng are less likely to support it's future.

                      A percentage of the "illegals" will remove some of their components for the once a year trip to the inspector. They will then reinstall them with half the bolts (after dropping the tank, kinking the lines and tearing the vapor bag). Ask any state safety inspector how often they see a shiny jacked up 4X4 come in for inspection with a set of dusty
                      rusty stock wheels and tires.

                      A percentage will license their car out of state (they have to run up to get some power ball tickets anyway)

                      A certain percent will obtain an inspection by unlawfull means. (Maybe they can hire the same guy that made the phony ngv2 labels for the china tanks)

                      A certain percent will slip by the inspector. I once saw a very clean install on an Infinity that had all of the components hidden out of sight.

                      Stretching safety inspection laws to cover non-safety items is a slippery slope. (anyone know the words to "First they came…"?)

                      By the way, I do not sell kits or installations. I am a state safety inspector, a CSA tank inspector, and I am ASE alt fuels f1 certified.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

                        I suggest basing safety requirements on NFPA-52, not EPA certification on vehicles with kits installed prior to 2009 (especially since many consumers were deceived by non-EPA certified kit installers and retrofitted vehicle sellers). Those who installed and/or operate vehicles with illegal (non-certified) kits before these safety rules were adopted could be "grandfathered in" so long as their vehicles are in compliance with NFPA-52. Conversions done 2009-future could have required EPA compliance.

                        The rules in NFPA-52 would be hard to teach to every safety inspector. The return on this investment would be quite low (ratio of CNG vehicles to state safety inspectors).

                        It seems like the best way to keep everyone safe would be to maintain a list of inspection stations that employ trained CNG inspectors (safety inspectors at non-CNG certified inspection stations would be bound to send a CNG vehicle to another station). If there were at least one trained inspector near each refueling station, the majority of the state's drivers would be covered.

                        Should we put something together to try to effect a change in safety inspections based on NFPA-52 compliance, not EPA certification?
                        Last edited by Luke; 01-17-2009, 12:37 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

                          I agree with Luke and several others. Safety is important but the EPA has proven they aren't the "end-all be-all". These restrictions will discourage the use of CNG.

                          I think setting up stations that are trained on how to handle NGVs is a great way to make sure that all the conversions on the road are safe.

                          I'm a GX driver so it in no way effects me, I just want to encourage the use of CNG as a fuel and have it done the safest way possible. I think this is a knee-jerk reaction to the recent problems of a couple "do it yourself" conversions. These conversions would be taken off the road with what Luke is suggesting.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New rules for Utah safety inspections in Jan. {EPA/CARB mandatory, NFPA-52 items}

                            The nanny state strikes again; the law of unintended consequences... Lawyers and petty politicians and their stupid power plays never seem to get anything correct. The answer is always to provide incentives to reward the right behavior, not to set disincentives in place that punish the ones who obey the law.

                            Logical result:
                            1) keep cng annual costs high needlessly for law-abiding Utahns
                            2) keep aftermarket conversions artificially expensive and therefore scarce (conversion shops killing their golden goose, btw).
                            3) kill the cng industry in the long run, help keep US dependent on foreign oil
                            4) drive the expensive non-EPA kits under the carpet (in other words, owners will remove their expensive tanks and other eqt for their annual inspection, and then replace and use it for the rest of the year w/o any safety inspection whatsoever). How does that help to improve public safety?

                            Incidentally, I took my OEM cng pickup into the Davis co inspection station last week, passed the observation check and emission tests (both fuels) with flying colors, and THEN had to take a 100 mile drive (waste of gas all the extra emissions into this inversion blanket) to put some miles on to pass the OBD2 test. Another example of legally enforced stupidity by these petty idiots running our sinking ship into the ground.
                            Last edited by rtry9a; 01-17-2009, 12:30 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: You won the battle but lost the WAR

                              Waiting for Mitton's response...


                              .
                              Last edited by John Mitton; 01-19-2009, 01:29 AM.

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