FMCSA Seeks Comments on Fuel Tank Limits

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is taking comments on a proposal to reconcile differences in FMCSA and Environmental Protection Agency policies regarding fuel tank fill requirements.

The rule will cover fuel tank fill standards for gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds or less. The plan also establishes some exemptions formerly given to motor carriers using certain Ford Motor Company and General Motors gasoline-fueled commercial motor vehicles.

The FMCSA proposes requiring gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less to adhere to EPA spitback and onboard refueling regulations. Fuel spitback is fuel spillage resulting from inadequate piping leading to the fuel tank.

The agency’s plan also would require gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles with a GVWR of 14,000 pounds or less to comply with applicable fuel spitback prevention regulations and on-board regulations of the EPA.

Finally, the FMCSA proposes to incorporate into its rules previously issued regulatory guidance concerning the applicability of the agency’s fuel tank rules to vehicles under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fuel system integrity standard at the time of manufacture.

Comments may be submitted on DOT Docket No. FMCSA-02-13589 at http://dms.dot.gov. Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493-2251 or mailed to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

The docket number must be included in the comments and received by Jan. 12.

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