Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

    I am informed that Mr. McIntyre was kicked off this site for expressing a contrary point of view. I am aware that those in charge of this site believe non EPA kits to be illegal. However, since this thread was put here to discuss the McIntyre & Golden lawsuits, perhaps he should be allowed to discuss with other members his point of view. To say the very least since he filed the lawsuit his views and legal theories might have some relevance!

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

      We never "kick off" anyone from the site for expressing a viewpoint. User banning occurs only for violations of our Rules & Terms of Service. If someone would like to privately send me or one of the moderators Jack's screen name or e-mail address used during registration we can look into the nature of the violation.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

        I am one of the attorneys that filed both the lawsuit over the State inspection rule and the request for agency action. I will post the request for agency action as soon as I can figure out what a security token is. I have read the post from lancer automotive and I must respectfully disagree. The position I have taken in my case (agency action) is that a CNG conversion that is not EPA certified is legal (the kit is a quality kit obd2 compliant etc), and is eligible for a state tax credit under the applicable state law. The position that we have taken in the civil suit is that EPA certification does not relate to safety. Neither myself, nor any of our clients have taken the position that reasonable safety rules are inappropriate. We have taken the position the state must follow its own rules when it enacts safety regulations and they must be rationally related to safety.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

          As a condition of a contract, the contract grantor can stipulate any condition they wish. If the State of Utah requires that in order to receive any grant or tax credits, CNG vehicles have EPA emission certification, and that the kits meet or exceed NFPA 52 requirements, AND that all CNG vehicles must be painted green, then that is the stated condition. If you want the money, you must comply.

          A State in the US, in order to become a state and ratify the US constitution, must adopt standards outlined by Congress, in the applicable Code of Federal Regulations, in this case both Titles 40 and 49. This CFR outlines the MINIMUM standards which must be followed by each, and it is the states prerogative to either meet them or exceed the standards, but not to diminish from them.

          Federal standards are not waiverable by a state. A state has the duty to enforce federal standards as applicable.

          Franz

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

            Franz,
            Thank you for cutting right to the quick.

            You can spend a little time and energy following the path set before you.

            Or you can participate in changing the path from within.

            Or you can spend a hundred times that time and energy throwing excuses, rhetoric, minutia, lawsuits and red herrings defending the reason you chose to stray from the path.

            Which one takes CNG and the cause of all alternative energy to the highest place?
            Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

              Originally posted by cnghal View Post
              Franz,
              Thank you for cutting right to the quick.

              You can spend a little time and energy following the path set before you.

              Or you can participate in changing the path from within.

              Or you can spend a hundred times that time and energy throwing excuses, rhetoric, minutia, lawsuits and red herrings defending the reason you chose to stray from the path.

              Which one takes CNG and the cause of all alternative energy to the highest place?
              I have to disagree with you on this Hal.

              Judging from the lack of progress for the Alternative Fuels Industry in the US over the past 30 years, unfortunately the preferred paths outlined by you clearly have not lead to progress in establishing an improved, streamlined certification process for CNG kits....LIKE EUROPE for example. There are likely many reasons for why "changing the path from within" has not and likely will not work, but that should be another thread, in the lounge perhaps. Either way, repeating something that does not work over and over again expecting different results is insanity according to Einstein. In Conclusion, Lawsuits, though expensive, are a good start....If I was one of the 4,000 people that currently can't register a car in Utah and I was already out $7,000 or more, I would start a fund raising website for a class action lawsuit and contribute the first $1,000 to start the cause. If all 4,000 affected people would contribute $1,000 it would add up to $4 million...enough for getting such a law suit through several level of appeal and likely enough national media attention that Congress might actually do something to force the EPA to remove its head of of its behind and be useful for once by adopting a CNG certification kit process like Europe. Bottom line, the system is broken, and "working from within" hasn't resulted in progress that is comparable to Europe (for example), so doing something different, like lawsuits is a good thing.
              Last edited by Adrian; 02-16-2009, 10:25 AM.
              Adrian

              Navy 2008 Civic GX (wife's)
              Silver 2012 Toyota Prius
              Grey 2012 Civic Natural Gas (mine)

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                None of my clients has taken the position that our state has tried to "waive federal standards". The simple fact is that Utah has simply implemented the federal standards. Both cases simply take the position that EPA certification is merely one way to comply, and there are others. This is nothing new it has been the law in Utah since October 2004. Additionally, since our governor announced his intention to make I-15 a natural gas corridor it follows that we might consider allowing a significant number of vehicles legally allowed to run on CNG. Furthermore, given the crappy air here in the state of Utah we are not going to meet the air quality goals imposed by EPA unless we can convert an appreciable number of cars to clean fuel.
                I am certain the path we are speaking about at is not CNG conversions that are prohibitively expensive, and only available for an insignificant portion of what we drive. I do not have a quarrel with a company that chooses to certify its conversion by EPA, I simply believe it to be an option rather than a requirement. EPA certification is simply not affordable for anything but a few new cars and that is not a sufficient number to make much difference.
                Jack

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                  Originally posted by Adrian View Post

                  Judging from the lack of progress for the Alternative Fuels Industry in the US over the past 30 years, unfortunately the preferred paths outlined by you clearly have not lead to progress in establishing an improved, streamlined certification process for CNG kits....LIKE EUROPE for example.

                  ...adopting a CNG certification kit process like Europe. Bottom line, the system is broken, and "working from within" hasn't resulted in progress that is comparable to Europe (for example)
                  Adrian,

                  I've been trying to research certification for kits in Europe and I can't find any documentation on the process. I've only seen one shop in Germany that does conversions and they basically will put on a factory equivalent kit.
                  It seems that all the vehicle manufacturers align themselves with a conversion kit manufacturer and then they manufacture vehicles with the kits on them. It seems like the "Aftermarket Market" doesn't really exist in Europe - compared to South America, for example.

                  I think the reason for CNG (& LPG) popularity in Europe is that the regular Petrol / Diesel fuel is taxed so heavily that market fluctuations in the price are not nearly as significant as in the US. CNG is pretty much legislatively guaranteed to be about 1/2 the price of Petrol until 2018, mostly due to favorable tax treatment of the fuel. There are other incentives that vary by country such as lower annual registration fees, and access to city centers that are restricted to public transport and clean vehicles.

                  Since the auto manufacturers produce the desirable CNG vehicles as a regular production model there is no real demand for aftermarket kits. If you have any information on the processes you mention I would like to see it. I can help you translate it if necessary. Thanks
                  2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
                  2013 Tesla Model S 85

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                    Originally posted by nttrainer View Post
                    Adrian,

                    I've been trying to research certification for kits in Europe and I can't find any documentation on the process. I've only seen one shop in Germany that does conversions and they basically will put on a factory equivalent kit.
                    It seems that all the vehicle manufacturers align themselves with a conversion kit manufacturer and then they manufacture vehicles with the kits on them. It seems like the "Aftermarket Market" doesn't really exist in Europe - compared to South America, for example.

                    I think the reason for CNG (& LPG) popularity in Europe is that the regular Petrol / Diesel fuel is taxed so heavily that market fluctuations in the price are not nearly as significant as in the US. CNG is pretty much legislatively guaranteed to be about 1/2 the price of Petrol until 2018, mostly due to favorable tax treatment of the fuel. There are other incentives that vary by country such as lower annual registration fees, and access to city centers that are restricted to public transport and clean vehicles.

                    Since the auto manufacturers produce the desirable CNG vehicles as a regular production model there is no real demand for aftermarket kits. If you have any information on the processes you mention I would like to see it. I can help you translate it if necessary. Thanks
                    We are deviating from the topic of this thread, and this is likely a topic for a separate thread, so if moderators see fit, a breakaway thread could be started.

                    From your logo and reference to Germany, I will assume you speak German. My German is a bit rusty...I haven't spoken it much since I left Eastern Europe in 1986. Anyway, here's a link to the Landi Renzo website for German shops that can install CNG kits on petrol cars (all bifuel).

                    http://www.landi.it/layout.jsp?idz=1...any&t=R&from=0

                    From the list of installers, it seems like you are right, Germany is not the best example of cng kit market penetration...check out the list for Italian shops on the same website and you will see a different story. Also, under the info and services tab, configure your car, you can see the very long list of vehicles that the Landirenzo kits are available for in Europe. Link below:

                    http://www.landi.it/layout.jsp?idz=1...3&lang=3#marca

                    If you want to find out detail of the process involved in installing a cng kit on a car in Europe, call one of these shops in Germany (best bet) or Italy (not great at answering calls) that install Landirenzo kits. Another resource in Germany that I stumbled on was the blog of a guy that converted a Landcruiser to run Bifuel petrol/cng (my German was still good enough to read info on his site) :

                    http://www.friesen-cruiser.de/

                    Let us all know what you think!
                    Adrian

                    Navy 2008 Civic GX (wife's)
                    Silver 2012 Toyota Prius
                    Grey 2012 Civic Natural Gas (mine)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                      I didn't mean to get off topic but you have some info that I'm interested in. I'll send you a PM to not clog up the thread. Thanks for the info.
                      Last edited by nttrainer; 02-16-2009, 01:15 PM.
                      2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
                      2013 Tesla Model S 85

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Here are the links for Jacks Agency Action and Complaint

                        Here are the links for Jacks Agency Action and Complaint, Go Jack........


                        http://icreatewow.com/pdf/McIntyreAgencyAction.pdf

                        http://icreatewow.com/pdf/McIntyreComplaint05.pdf
                        Jim Younkin
                        www.younkincng.com

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                          Attached is a letter written by Wes Biggers, President of FuelTek. He has been successful in obtaining EPA certifications. This is proof that even a small company can, if they choose, abide by the federal laws and still flourish.

                          Dear CCATS,

                          I read through the attached information with great interest. Because the EPA seems unwilling to enforce their standards, the State of Utah is trying to find a method of ensuring the safety of the vehicles on their roads. While I hate to make generalizations, I will make the following because of the nature of how certified conversions are sold:

                          A certified kit will be installed safely and in compliance with NFPA 52. The converse of this would be that an uncertified kit is not installed safely nor in compliance with NFPA 52. This is clearly un-true. However, I would argue that installer who is willing to turn a blind eye to federal law (for this is the source of the certification requirements) is more likely to turn a blind eye to safety requirements. I doubt heavily that ANY of the unsafe conversions you will find on Utah roads are certified conversions. Doesn't that make a fairly loud statement.

                          In the 3rd paragraph, you make the statement that Utah's ruling regarding the registration of uncertified conversions as unsafe "suddenly put thousands of conscientious citizens outside the law". It is not the safety question that put these people (and more specifically the converters of these vehicles) outside the law. It was the very act of using an uncertified conversion, whether installed safely or not, that put these people outside the law. Just because the federal law on certified conversions is inconvenient doesn't give us the right to ignore it. Later on in the letter, you state that a safe conversion should be legal. It is a FEDERAL LAW and your letter makes the supposition that simply making an installation/conversion 'safe' bypasses the issue of legal under the tampering provisions of the Federal Clean Air Act. I've read that law and I don't recall anywhere in that legislation a statement that as long as the tampering of a vehicle is done safely it should be considered legal. You imply in the letter that just because a converted vehicle is running on CNG it's emissions must be cleaner than gasoline. That is blatantly NOT true. A poorly calibrated conversion can actually increase NOX to as much as 3 times that of gasoline. And don't delude yourself that the 'auto calibration' of many systems resolves that issue. The only way to determine the actual emissions compliance of a converted vehicle is to test the vehicle - which is what certification is all about. There are right ways and wrong ways of bringing about change in laws. Ignoring them is not the right way.

                          I applaud your efforts to make CNG conversions safer through the education and certification of CNG technicians. However, I think it is very irresponsible of your group to do so knowing that the sole reason you want the ruling defeated is so you can go back to ignoring the legal issues of certified conversions. As a group, are you ethical or not. Or should I be asking what shade of grey you are?

                          Sincerely,
                          Wes Biggers
                          President
                          FuelTek Conversion Corp.
                          Lancer Automotive Group
                          3687 South 300 West
                          Salt Lake City UT 84115

                          801-268-8863

                          http://lancerautogroup.com

                          Visit our Facebook pages
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lance...68469439838785

                          https://www.facebook.com/alternativefuelcenter?ref=hl

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Lawsuits re: EPA certification requirement (inspections, tax credits, etc.)

                            As I have said before I have no quarrel with a company small or large that chooses to certify its products with EPA. I will say that EPA certification is not required under Federal or Utah State law, it is merely an option. Consequently, an installer who uses an uncertified kit is not turning a blind eye to federal law.

                            Regarding the apparent idea that EPA certification is the only way to ensure that a vehicle converted to CNG is cleaner post conversion is simply not true. Perhaps this is why the Division of Air Quality adopted the State Implementation Plan that requires annual emissions testing, and includes a provision (testing)for fuel switching. Also, the Division received EPA approval prior to its adoption of the plan in October 2004.

                            The kit installed on the test vehicle for the Agency action was not EPA certified, and the test results prove it is significantly cleaner after conversion. Tampering is defined as removing or rendering any device or element of design of an emission control system. Installing a CNG conversion kit by itself is not tampering period. Installing a CNG conversion kit by itself does not violate federal law period.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              CCATS Letter

                              Since Lancer chose to post Biggers Letter to us at CCATS (Certified CNG Automotive Technicians for Safety) I felt it only fair to post the original letter.


                              Lets Keep Thousands of Safe CNG Vehicles on Utah's Highways

                              In 2008, more CNG vehicles were sold or converted in the state of Utah than in the rest of the nation. This influx of CNG Vehicles onto Utah’s highways increased the need to ensure that CNG vehicles are safe and running clean.

                              Anticipating the need for trained CNG Technicians, approximately 120 CNG Technicians in the state of Utah were Trained and Certified as CNG System Inspectors and installers in 2008. There are now more Certified CSA CNG Inspectors and installers in the State of Utah than any other State. These technicians have the repair facilities, experience and training necessary to carry out the CNG Inspections for both Safety and Emissions.

                              In an attempt to address public concern over the safety of CNG vehicles, in January of 2009 the Utah Highway Patrol ruled that if a CNG system was “EPA certified” the vehicle was “safe” and qualified for registration. This misguided ruling threw the promising CNG industry in the state of Utah into disarray. This ruling suddenly put thousands of conscientious citizens outside the law if they wanted to continue driving their clean running, safely converted CNG vehicles.

                              The proposed UHP 2009 inspections did not take into account the fact that all CNG systems, whether EPA approved or not, need to be verified safe and clean running by people trained and qualified to make that evaluation. Many systems have never met for the mandatory 3 year CNG system inspection.

                              Who is CCATS and where did it come from?

                              CCATS (Certified CNG Automotive Technicians for Safety) was officially organized on January 13, 2009. It was formed in response to the UHP ruling that only converted vehicles with the “EPA certified” stickers were safe to drive in Utah. CCATS members contend that ALL CNG INSTALLS whether EPA or not need to be tested for Safety and Emissions. If an install is safe and clean it should be deemed legal.

                              CCATS currently has 8 members on its Governing Board and is open to any number of supporting members, contributing members and specialists.

                              Our Governing Board has in excess of 250 combined years of automotive experience. There are members on the Governing Board who have been doing safety and emission testing for the state of Utah since the inception of these programs. All voting members are certified or qualified in testing and repair of CNG systems, ASE certified A1, A6, A8 (many Master), F1 and are certified NAFTC and CSA Inspectors for High Pressure Cylinder systems.

                              Our goal - at CCATS is to put thousands of safe, clean running CNG vehicles on the road and have Utah take the lead in demonstrating a viable, efficient system of certifying these vehicles on a regular basis. CCATS feels that education is the key to accomplishing this goal; educating the UHP, working with and educating various state agencies as well as educating the general public are all vital to our overall goal. CCATS will provide this education through our website, informational seminars, technical training, brochures and videos. (For more information about CCATS email: [email protected] or contact any board member)


                              Certified Automotive Technicians for Safety (CCATS) Proposes:

                              1- Providing CNG informational materials to share with the general public.

                              2- Creating Safety and Emission inspection procedures for all CNG vehicles.

                              3- Providing CCATS training programs for UHP Inspectors, CNG Mechanics and CNG repair shops.

                              The implementation of these programs will:

                              1- Encourage more people to safely convert to CNG.

                              2- Contribute to safer highways and better air quality.


                              We all want clean air and safe vehicles. This proposal provides a way to encourage more CNG vehicles on the road, not less. Implementing this program can set an example to the United States and the rest of the world. Our CNG training, testing, certification and informational materials can be shared with others to promote clean, economical, safe fuel alternatives, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.



                              Sincerely,

                              Michael M. Millet

                              Chairman CCATS

                              [email protected]

                              801-957-4142 office

                              Rob Mayo

                              Vice Chairman CCATS

                              [email protected]

                              801-787-4568

                              Jim Younkin

                              Secretary CCATS

                              [email protected]

                              801-427-2284

                              For more information email [email protected]
                              Jim Younkin
                              www.younkincng.com

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Biggers CCATS Letter

                                Here is my response to Biggers letter....Jim

                                Wes, I have never met you but I find your letter interesting. You stated "A certified kit will be installed safely and in compliance with NFPA 52".Where in the EPA regulations does it state that this is the case? I have read the regulations and I find it nowhere. Any EPA shop may in fact go by NFPA52 standards but is this always the case? By now many EPA conversions are almost 15 years old and systems are starting to leak, tanks are beginning to expire and worst of all many of theses systems are now burning dirty and are outdated and untunable.

                                You state "The converse of this would be that an uncertified kit is not installed safely nor in compliance with NFPA 52. This is clearly un-true. However, I would argue that installer who is willing to turn a blind eye to federal law (for this is the source of the certification requirements) is more likely to turn a blind eye to safety requirements." CCATS wants all CNG Conversions inspected for Safety and Emissions. I am sure if this was done we would find problems in both EPA and Imported Conversions.

                                You postulated "I doubt heavily that ANY of the unsafe conversions you will find on Utah roads are certified conversions. Doesn't that make a fairly loud statement." As stated above many of these EPa systems are getting old, many have had auxilary tanks installed, are all of these installs safe? As I studied over the UHP Fuel System Standards I found rules that would make the majority of the EPA Certified Vehicles in non-compliance. EPA does not always mean NFPA52 compliant....

                                You also stated "You imply in the letter that just because a converted vehicle is running on CNG it's emissions must be cleaner than gasoline." I don't remember implying that, CNG systems can run clean or dirty, I am sure some of your systems have ran dirty.
                                BTW are you coming to our CCATS Safety Seminar at SLCC on Feb 28th? If you are we could speak in person, Jim
                                Jim Younkin
                                www.younkincng.com

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X