Governor Says SUV's Gas Leak a Reminder of the Need for Properly Converted Natural Gas Vehicles
Some self-conversion kits don't meet EPA standards
Governor Jon Huntsman is deeply concerned about the potential for a harmful trend after learning about a family who experienced near fatal consequences due to installing a faulty compressed natural gas retrofit.
"We are all grateful that the accident did not cause serious injury or worse. Unfortunately, some who seek a more economical means of transportation can fall prey to unscrupulous sales tactics," said Huntsman. "Natural gas vehicles are an important part of reducing air pollution and I encourage them. But when converting vehicles to compressed natural gas combustion system it should be EPA certified and installed by a certified mechanic."
With natural gas vehicles in short supply, people are turning to conversion kits and not all of them available for sale have been certified to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. It's also important to have the systems installed by a certified mechanic.
"If it's not certified, it's both dangerous and dirty," said Rick Sprott, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental
Those who drive certified natural gas cars qualify for a one-time tax credit from the state as a reward for helping reduce air pollution. But it needs to be EPA certified in order to receive the tax credit.
Officials are working to speed up the availability of EPA-certified retrofit kits and provide additional refueling natural gas stations along the Wasatch Front. In the meantime, Governor Huntsman is assembling a group of officials from state agencies and local health departments to increase public awareness of the dangers of improperly installed equipment and find ways to make the certified kits more available to the public. Also, automobile owners can learn about properly installing the certified kits by taking courses at the Salt Lake Community College.