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EPA Responds To House Bill 70

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  • EPA Responds To House Bill 70

    EPA Responds To House Bill 70

    “We appreciate that the current federal regulations and policies to certify alternative fuel conversions are challenging for some manufacturers. We also are supportive of Utah’s general efforts to bring CNG vehicles in a responsible manner. To address these challenges, EPA has initiated a rule making process and plans to publish a proposal shortly that will be subject to public comment. The changes EPA intends to propose were formulated with broad stakeholder input, including input from interested parties in Utah.” - EPA letter to Governor Herbert

    View the full text at http://www.utahcleancities.org/news.htm

  • #2
    More from the EPA letter

    More from the EPA letter, I have posted the letter and a simplified version of HB 70 at:
    http://younkincng.com/

    Here is more from the letter, I will try to clarify,

    I have been advised by EPA’s attorneys and technical experts that the aforementioned legislation may be inconsistent with the Clean Air Act (Act) and federal regulations.

    (You will notice that she uses may instead of will since the act of just converting a vehicle to CNG is not illegal or tampering in and of itself.)

    The legislation apparently would not prohibit certain actions that would continue to be prohibited under federal requirements governing manufacture, distribution, and installation of aftermarket parts, systems or kits designed to allow vehicles or engines to operate on a fuel other than the fuel for which it was designed, and certified (aftermarket conversion kits). I understand these issues were brought to the attention of legislative officials and the Utah DAQ by EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality and EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance, which have raised concerns that the proposed legislation may not be consistent with federal statutory prohibitions on tampering. While we appreciate the State’s intent and efforts to comply with federal law, we remain concerned about House Bill 70.

    (Contained in HB 70 is the following “A person who performs a retrofit on a retrofit compressed natural gas vehicle shall certify to the owner of the retrofit compressed natural gas vehicle that the retrofit does not tamper with, circumvent, or otherwise affect the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system, if any.” (http://www.younkincng.com/) This insures that the vehicle has not been tampered with)

    All vehicles and engines sold in the United States are subject to the same emission standards, regardless of the fuel with which they operate.

    (The EPA has accepted the state of Utah’s SIP plan whereby the state Emission tests all vehicles within the targeted areas which have the largest Air Quality Problems)

    Manufacturers, sellers and installers of aftermarket conversion kits are subject to a federal prohibition against tampering with emission control devices installed on vehicles and engines or installing devices to defeat those emission control devices, as well as a prohibition against manufacturing or selling devices which defeat those emission control devices. (Act section 203(a)(3), 42 U.S.C. § 7522(a)(3)).

    (Again look to HB 70 language as referenced above)

    Manufacturers, sellers and installers of aftermarket conversion kits must manufacture, sell and install only kits certified by EPA in order to be exempted from these prohibitions.

    (I love this sentence, lets just write it so we can understand it, “If you have your kit certified by the EPA (to prove that you are not “tampering” since we emission test your vehicle) you are not tampering.” What it does not say is that a non-certified CNG conversion is tampering.)

    If our reading of the pending legislation is correct, it would allow inspectors at the State level to inspect and “certify” vehicles retrofitted with aftermarket conversion systems or kits to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), even if those vehicles have not been certified by EPA.

    (HB 70 does not “EPA Certify” anything, it does insure that a CNG system is safe and requires that the vehicle complies with the States SIP Plan Emission Standards just like any other vehicle in the State of Utah.)

    These and other aspects of the Bill seem to imply that manufacturers and installers of conversion kits are not subject to the federal prohibitions discussed above, or that these entities may avail themselves of a safe harbor.

    (Again, contained in HB 70 is the following “A person who performs a retrofit on a retrofit compressed natural gas vehicle shall certify to the owner of the retrofit compressed natural gas vehicle that the retrofit does not tamper with, circumvent, or otherwise affect the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system, if any.” (http://www.younkincng.com/) This insures that the vehicle has not been tampered with)

    However, HB 70 would not change the federal requirements. Under current EPA regulations, manufacturers of aftermarket conversion kits must obtain a certificate of conformity from EPA, and installers of kits must use only certified kits to avoid violating the prohibitions in section 203(a)(3) of the Act.

    (Again she is using double talk to just say that if you lets us (the EPA) certify the CNG Kit you can “avoid violating the prohibitions in section” but she does not say a non-EPA kit is illegal, the violation comes if you tamper, just converting a vehicle to CNG is not “tampering”.)

    Jim Younkin
    Blog younkincng.com
    801 427 2284
    Jim Younkin
    www.younkincng.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: More from the EPA letter

      The thing that makes no sense to me is why the EPA makes such a big deal about tampering with emissiion control systems designed to control the emissions from burning gasoline, not cng. If the cng emissions are as clean as the gasoline rules allow, and the system is safe, it should be acceptable to everyone, I think that is what the Utah regulators are trying to say. The are taking a practical approach to a flawed EPA rule involving unintended consequences, while the EPA lawyers are tied to unreasonable interpretations of something not intended to originally apply..
      Last edited by rtry9a; 03-15-2010, 06:41 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: More from the EPA letter

        Its sort of that old lawyer question "when did you stop beating your wife?" You answer I have never beat my wife! The EPA asks why are you tampering (the tampering is assumed). In reality it is up to the Lawyer and the EPA to show that a person has beat his wife or tampered......
        Jim Younkin
        www.younkincng.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: EPA Responds To House Bill 70

          At least I guess its that way...
          Jim Younkin
          www.younkincng.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: EPA Responds To House Bill 70

            HB 70 will be signed into Law in April by the Governor in a private ceremony....
            Jim Younkin
            www.younkincng.com

            Comment

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