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  • Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

    http://connect2utah.com/content/geph...tory?cid=56682

    Good news tonight for many Utahns who converted their vehicles to use compressed natural gas. Earlier this year, an investigation by our Bill Gephardt found those who converted their vehicles using a non-E.P.A. Kit would not be allowed to drive their cars. But that's changed, and Bill is here with a follow-up.


    Here's the good news for those who spent thousands to convert their gasoline vehicles to compressed natural gas, or C.N.G. It's a court order. It requires Utah State Vehicle Safety inspectors to allow all conversion kits on Utah roads. Previously, kits had to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, or the cars would be ordered off the road.


    It came as a surprise for Bob Young, Steve Jensen, and Randy Lieber after they paid about $10,000 to have each of their vehicles converted from gasoline to compressed natural gas.


    "They said we can't pass this,” Bob says. “It's not certified."


    That's right. Bob, Steve, and Randy, along with roughly 4-thousand others in Utah converted their vehicles using kits that did not have an E.P.A. certification.


    And the Utah Safety Inspection Advisory Council decided unanimously that only E.P.A. certified and installed kits would be allowed in Utah. So, the next time the vehicles would be inspected, they would not pass. So, no license plate, and the vehicles would be not legally drivable.


    "It made something that was legal a year ago when I put it on to illegal now," Randy says.


    Randy sued, and won.


    And here in Third District Court, the judge ruled that no longer can a vehicle be rejected for safety in Utah on the basis that the conversion to natural gas is not E.P.A. certified.


    “E.P.A. doesn't have anything to do with safety," says lawyer Jack McIntyre, who also has a natural gas conversion, helped argue the case.


    "Now, if it's done in compliance with their other rules, then they can pass it, and you can continue to drive."


    Randy says the victory affects lots of conversions. “The fact that that rule would have outlawed approximately 65-hundred vehicles in the state of Utah."


    And just why were people converting using non-E.P.A. approved kits? Because E.P.A. approved kits are much more expensive.


    Now, there is one other issue I've told you about concerning non-E.P.A. conversions...the promise from the state that customers could get up to 25-hundred dollars back in the form of a tax credit. This is still being reviewed by state officials. And a decision, I'm told today, could be weeks or months away.
    Last edited by younkin; 10-15-2009, 05:10 AM.
    Jim Younkin
    www.younkincng.com

  • #2
    Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

    Unfortunately, that doesn't clear the way for us. Several counties have adopted the EPA certification requirement as an emissions issue. As yet, there have not been any legal actions taken to remedy this which still leaves people holding the bag. Davis county is a good example as well as Salt Lake. Hopefully, when Mr. McIntyre's petition for a tax credit is reviewed the issue of an EPA certification requirement will also be addressed.
    Robert
    "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." Henry Ford

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

      As this is Utah-specific we are moving this over to the Utah forum.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

        Younkin,

        I agree that EPA certification should not regarded as a safety issue. So UHP should not require it for safety inspection. It is, however, an environmental issue (emissions). So, the individual county health departments (who oversee the emissions testing) should enforce or regulate the EPA or non-EPA certified CNG installations. Only time will tell of what happens. I believe that other states are watching this as well.
        Jared.
        Mountain Green, Utah
        2003 CNG Cavalier
        2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

          High, I do not feel that EPA Certification is a safety or Emission issue. Granted if an EPA Certified system is installed and tuned properly it will pass any safety and emission test (just as a non-EPA can do also). Unfortunately the EPA Cert expires after the "useful life" of the vehicle so the vehicle will have to be checked again for safety and emissions just like any other vehicle. For any State or Federal Agency to base whether or nor a CNG Vehicle is safe or clean on a sticker under the hood is foolhardy. The only Utah Countys that is still looking to the EPA Cert is Weber and Davis, most others are relying on the regular Emission and Safety tests, Jim
          801 427 2284
          [email protected]
          Jim Younkin
          www.younkincng.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

            Originally posted by younkin View Post
            For any State or Federal Agency to base whether or nor a CNG Vehicle is safe or clean on a sticker under the hood is foolhardy. The only Utah Countys that is still looking to the EPA Cert is Weber and Davis, most others are relying on the regular Emission and Safety tests
            Jim,

            I agree with you that looking for a sticker under the hood should not suffice for safety nor for emissions. You and I know that just because a CNG system is EPA certified does not mean that the system is safe. The difference between EPA certified kits and non-EPA certified kits is this (I believe this is where you and I disagree):

            At the time of installation, EPA certified kits are proven to be "clean". They are proven to meet or exceed EPA requirements and they are proven to pass the tests set forth by the EPA regarding emissions (CARB is a different story).
            You can't say that for non-EPA certified kits.

            The key phrase here is "at the time of installation". To prove that the CNG systems are still clean and meet EPA requirements regarding emissions the county health departments have regular (once a year) emission tests ran on the vehicle. The State Health Department (with help from the Department of Environmental Quality, etc.) set the emission test requirements. Right now in Utah, all they require is that the emission control system (OBDII) is working properly according to the "manufacturer's" specifications. Well, guess what? When you install a CNG system on a vehicle (according to the EPA) you become the manufacturer. You, the manufacturer, must make sure that the emission control system is working properly. If you install the system to work in conjunction with the gasoline system (bi-fuel), then you must still comply with the "gasoline fuel system manufacturer". What makes this a real gray area is the fact that the counties are not checking what really comes out the tailpipe, they are just checking the OBDII readiness and codes. That is why this is not a problem for California, they do a smog test.

            I don't doubt that some non-EPA certified kits are "clean" and that they meet or exceed EPA regulations. If you want to prove it, then have the EPA run the tests and get certified. Now, it is not worth it to you (a conversion shop) to get the kits that you are installing certified. The kit manufacturer should pony up the time and money and get them certified, then he can sell his "certified" kits to his installers.

            I agree that we need to streamline to process and clear up the muddy water around all of this. The end goal is to have safe, clean proven NGVs running up and down the Wasatch Front.
            Jared.
            Mountain Green, Utah
            2003 CNG Cavalier
            2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

              Originally posted by Highmarker View Post
              Jim,

              I agree that we need to streamline to process and clear up the muddy water around all of this. The end goal is to have safe, clean proven NGVs running up and down the Wasatch Front.
              How about safe, clean, and affordable NGVs?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

                Jared, Now comes the problem when you say all CNG systems should get certified, the EPA only certifies new vehicles, I don't convert or drive new vehicles thus even if I wanted to get an EPA Cert it is impossible. According to Marty R. from the EPA Older vehicles need no certification. I can give you a reference if you want but he has stated that all a person needs is a 3 gas test at the time of the install and keep it in your glovebox. Concerning the State IM tests I guess each individual has to deal with that, Jim

                [email protected]
                Jim Younkin
                www.younkincng.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

                  Haven't heard of that one before, might want to call them (EPA) at 734-241-4289, to be sure. What three gasses are they looking at?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

                    The three gases are CO2, CO, and NOx. At least that's what's on my last emissions exhaust test from this summer. BTW, if I remember right, the Nox and CO were just slightly less than on gasoline, but the CO2 was about 10% of the gasoline reading.

                    Jim
                    2005 F250 V-10

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

                      Originally posted by younkin View Post
                      Jared, Now comes the problem when you say all CNG systems should get certified, the EPA only certifies new vehicles, I don't convert or drive new vehicles thus even if I wanted to get an EPA Cert it is impossible. According to Marty R. from the EPA Older vehicles need no certification. I can give you a reference if you want but he has stated that all a person needs is a 3 gas test at the time of the install and keep it in your glovebox. Concerning the State IM tests I guess each individual has to deal with that, Jim

                      [email protected]
                      Jim,
                      Will you post Marty's contact information, please. Also the reference would be great.
                      Robert
                      Robert
                      "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." Henry Ford

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Good news for Utah CNG Vehicle owners

                        Robert, send me an E Mail, I will send you the info and a link,Jim
                        Last edited by Curtis; 01-12-2010, 10:41 AM.
                        Jim Younkin
                        www.younkincng.com

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