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Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

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  • Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

    HB70 will allow Utah residents to bypass EPA-approved CNG conversions. Utah State Division of Air Quality certified technicians would make sure that the conversions are installed safely and then re-certify the converted vehicle every three years or 36,000 miles.

    A House committee approved the bill today.

    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14295447

    I know we're not supposed to post the full text of an article, but the SL Tribune only leaves them publicly available for, I think, a week, so I've pasted it below:

    Panel greenlights easier natural-gas conversion for cars
    HB70 ยป The measure would bypass a federal certification process some say is too burdensome, too costly.

    By Brandon Loomis

    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Updated: 01/29/2010 06:28:59 PM MST

    A House committee approved a bill Friday meant to put thousands of safe and clean-burning natural-gas cars on Utah's roads.

    HB70 would bypass a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel-conversion-kit certification process that compressed natural gas (CNG) car enthusiasts say is too burdensome and costly.

    Instead, the state Division of Air Quality would certify technicians to ensure conversion kits are installed safely and to check them every three years or 36,000 miles to see that they continue to burn correctly.

    Currently, many converted CNG vehicles technically are illegal because the installers didn't use EPA-approved kits. But approved kits are expensive and unavailable for most vehicle models.

    The proposed process goes around the EPA by using certified technicians, a step the EPA doesn't oppose, said HB70sponsor Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan.

    Enabling more legal conversions is important, Draxler argued, to reduce consumption of imported oil and improve Utah's air quality with cleaner CNG vehicles.

    "This winter we've had red-air days going into red-air weeks and ... almost red-air months," Draxler said. "We will never get enough vehicles on the road running on compressed natural gas if we wait for the EPA."

    EPA-approved kits generally cost $14,000 because of federal testing requirements. The state bill would make most conversions about $8,000 cheaper, Draxler said. For that reason, vehicles converted
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    under his bill would not be eligible for the current CNG vehicle tax credit of up to $1,500.

    The House Business and Labor Committee gave the bill a favorable recommendation Friday.

    [email protected]
    Last edited by CNG Utah; 01-30-2010, 02:21 PM. Reason: Edited to add full article text.
    www.CNGUtah.com

  • #2
    Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

    Great news for users and the environment, not so much for the vested interests around here.

    It will be interesting to see what the technicians use as inspection criterion. I wonder if the 3-year inspection requirement applies to the annual registration and emission testing rules applied to OEM systems? I can finally convert my Mustang to bifuel/cng legally!
    Last edited by rtry9a; 01-29-2010, 04:22 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

      If you are referring to me, hey I am all for simplifying the process and making conversions affordable. I don't like shelling out tens of thousands in lab fees per EPA cert anymore than my customers like the extra costs incurred for me to amortize these lab fees on each retrofit.

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      • #4
        Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

        it wont be so good if cng vehicles start exploding in utah

        would i be able to buy a legal conversion from utah and ship it do new jersey?

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        • #5
          Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

          Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
          Great news for users and the environment, not so much for the vested interests around here.

          It will be interesting to see what the technicians use as inspection criterion. I wonder if the 3-year inspection requirement applies to the annual registration and emission testing rules applied to OEM systems? I can finally convert my Mustang to bifuel/cng legally!
          My understanding is that the inspection criteria is the same as what is mandated by UHP's annually safety inspection which is that the inspection be done by a certified CNG fuel system inspector. However, HB 70 clearly states that the inspection must be done by a CSA certified Fuel System Inspector and not what is referrenced in CGA Phamplet C-6.4 for qualified inspectors. CSA is the nationally recognized agency for certifying CNG inspectors, but CGA Phamplet C-6.4 also allows someone who has had 2 years expierence in inspecting tanks to be qualified to inspect tanks. CSA certification goes beyond the tank, it incorporates all high pressure components (tanks, vavles, regulators, fittings, and lines). I personnally would not have an installation done by someone who is not "certified" to do it. The certification would include kit manufacturer certification, ASE CNG certification and CSA certification.

          This looks like a good thing not only for the state of Utah, but it might set a precedence for the rest of the nation.
          Jared.
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

            Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
            If you are referring to me, hey I am all for simplifying the process and making conversions affordable. I don't like shelling out tens of thousands in lab fees per EPA cert anymore than my customers like the extra costs incurred for me to amortize these lab fees on each retrofit.
            Great attitude. Does this mean we can now have meaningful discussions about the "non-EPA blessed" kits available?

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            • #7
              Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

              tax oil
              subsidize natural gas

              and maybe utah could be the first energy independent state in the union

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              • #8
                Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                I'm scratching my head wondering what this bill will actually do that isn't already being done. It would appear to set up Utah's own certification program -- which the Clean Air Act does not provide for outside of California's unique situation. So Rep Draxler does his best to avoid looking like a complete fool by inserting in the following at the tail end to cover his backside and throw the onus on shops and vehicle owners to follow federal law.

                (7) The owner of a vehicle, and a person performing a retrofit of a compressed natural gas vehicle, shall comply with any applicable federal law concerning a retrofit compressed natural gas vehicle.

                Like a true politician he puts forth a bill that sounds great yet accomplishes nothing. As Highmarker summarized above, the Highway Patrol already has a procedure to inspect the safety issues surrounding Utah's shameful backyard retrofit mess and at the same time the federal government has a procedure to certify emissions. So what is the purpose of this bill anyway?

                I listened to House Committee audio from Friday's hearing:
                http://le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0070.htm

                How is that all these guys who stepped up to the microphone whine and complain about the EPA process, and how their imported kits are so wonderfully clean and inexpensive, but no one in Utah apart from me is actually going out and certifying stuff?
                Last edited by John Mitton; 02-03-2010, 10:04 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                  All I see here is a lot of CRYing at this site.The Utah bill is just the start more states will follow. And rightly so if you invested in the EPA certifying your stuff you are more likly going to get burned. It is the way of the goverment .
                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                    Jack assured me today that the language quoted by John will not be in the final Bill, I for one think this Bill will put to rest many discussion about what should and should not be converted. Lets all move forward with Clean and Safe conversions, Jim
                    [email protected]
                    younkincng.com
                    801 427 2284
                    Jim Younkin
                    www.younkincng.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                      Here is some testimony I transcribed from the hearing http://le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0070.htm that John mentioned last week, I found it very helpful, Jim
                      (from Martin Seelos owner Semi Service) " I will tell you why (EPA conversions) are expensive it costs 70 to 80 K per kit (to certify one vehicle, one engine family) we normally pushed EPA Kits, we are drawing the state down to a standstill, its ridiculous, foreign countries are putting on millions of kits, they keep their natural gas and burn it, what do they send us , liquid its ridiculous, why would you pay 2 dollars more for something you already have in your ground? Another issue is that you are trying to clean your air here its easy to do, if you have to transport liquid fuel you have to burn diesel fuel in a Semi, how many gallons can you not transport by using natural gas, its in the pipes its in the ground, its simple, you are going to clean your air, everything is a win win situation, like I said we are an EPA Certified, we've fought with the EPA, we've fought with our factories, we are tired of fighting, we need changes, we will go forward with this bill, it's everyone else has issues too, we already have state inspections, we have the highway patrol, these people can be trained instantly, I mean instantly, to certify these, so safety there is no safety issue. It is something that can be clean real easy."
                      Jim Younkin
                      www.younkincng.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                        It will be interesting to see how this plays out given the clean air act and the stance taken by the EPA so far towards cng conversions. The natural gas act has been in congress for a while, but since the crooked politicians there probably can't attach pork or personal benefits to it, it is not moving very fast if at all. If this Utah bill is found to be in conflict with the clean air act, I think the next stop is the Supreme Court. If they grant certiorari, and take a favorable view of cng conversions, you might have some result forcing the EPA to change their stance sooner rather much later or not at all. Again, the crooked politicians have no interest in promoting this in Washington, unlike our "stimulus" they can't hide numerous pages of pork in the bill; the EPA would loose revenue as a result so just because it makes sense and it cleans up the air and reduces dependency on foreign oil means little unfortunately.
                        Adrian

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                          Adrian, in numerous meetings this last year with the EPA they have stated:
                          (1) They are in the process of changing the CNG Conversion process in order to make it easier and more inclusive.
                          (2) The EPA Certification is only for the "useful life" of the vehicle, 100,000 miles.
                          (3) The EPA can only certify new or nearly new vehicles.
                          (4) The EPA has offered no evidence of a fine or prosecution involving an "illegal" CNG Conversion.

                          I too am waiting for something to come out of the Natural Gas Act. It is hard to get every Natural Gas proponent moving in the same direction. I feel Jacks Bill will be a wake up call for other states to help move CNG Conversions forward, for once I feel we have some politicians on our side, Jim
                          [email protected]
                          younkincng.com
                          801 427 2284
                          Jim Younkin
                          www.younkincng.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                            Originally posted by younkin View Post
                            Adrian, in numerous meetings this last year with the EPA they have stated:
                            (1) They are in the process of changing the CNG Conversion process in order to make it easier and more inclusive.
                            [email protected]
                            younkincng.com
                            801 427 2284
                            When a governmental agency is "in the process of changing" something, to me that means years at best. I hope I'm wrong.
                            Adrian

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Utah Bill to Allow Easier CNG Conversions

                              Jack Draxler called me last night and gave me the good news that the Bill passed the House 67 to 1, now it goes to the Senate, I think Mark Madsen to get it passed in the Senate, after that it will go to committee's for implementation, I have already had calls from Texas, they want to pass a similar Bill, Jim
                              [email protected]
                              younkincng.com
                              801 427 2284
                              Jim Younkin
                              www.younkincng.com

                              Comment

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