FR Doc 03-28255
[Federal Register: November 12, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 218)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 393
[DOT Docket No. FMCSA-02-13589]
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Fuel Systems
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FMCSA proposes to revise the requirements concerning fuel
tank fill rates for gasoline- and methanol-fueled light-duty vehicles
contained in Subpart E of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSRs). The purpose of the proposal is to: (1) Remove a conflict
between the fuel tank fill rate requirements of the FMCSRs and those of
the Environmental Protection Agency for gasoline and methanol-fueled
vehicles up to 14,000 pounds (lbs) Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR);
and (2) to make permanent the terms of the exemptions previously
granted to motor carriers operating certain gasoline-fueled commercial
motor vehicles (CMVs) manufactured by Ford Motor Company (Ford) and by
General Motors (GM). The FMCSA also proposes to incorporate into the
FMCSRs previously issued regulatory guidance concerning the
applicability of the agency's fuel tank rules to vehicles subject to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fuel system
integrity standard at the time of manufacture.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 12, 2004.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to DOT Docket Management Systems
(DMS) Docket Number 13589 by any of the following methods:
[sbull] Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://dms.dot.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
[sbull] Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
[sbull] Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
[sbull] Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif
Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m.
and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
[sbull] Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to
Follow the online instructions for submitting
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and
docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this
rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public
Participation subheading at the beginning of the Supplementary
Information section of this document. Note that all comments received
will be posted without change to
including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to
at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah M. Freund, Office of Bus
and Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366-4009, Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC
20590-0001. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can
get electronic submission and retrieval help guidelines under the
``help'' section of the DMS web site. If you want us to notify you that
we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped
envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears
after submitting comments on-line.
Section 393.67(c)(7)(ii) of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR), requires the fill pipe and vents of a CMV with a fuel tank of
more than 25 gallons capacity to permit the tank to be filled at a rate
of at least 20 gallons per minute (gpm) without fuel spillage.
In 1999, Ford and GM filed applications for limited exemptions from
this fuel system requirement.
Ford manufactures a line of vehicles under the ``Econoline'' brand
for additional work and sale by second-stage manufacturers, including
use as CMVs as defined in 49 CFR 390.5. Specifically, finished vehicles
are based on a ``light-truck'' platform with load-or passenger-carrying
capabilities that place them within the weight-or passenger-carrying
thresholds of the FMCSRs.
The fill pipe of the fuel system of these light-duty vehicles is
routed to minimize its exposure in the event of a crash. Because of the
design characteristics of the fuel fill-pipe and system and the vapor
generated when filling such tanks with gasoline, Ford found that the
fuel systems in the gasoline versions of these light-duty vehicles
could not meet the FMCSA requirement of Sec. 393.67(c)(7)(ii).
However, Ford noted that the diesel versions complied with the 20
gallon per minute minimum filling rate. Ford applied for exemptions for
the gasoline fueled light-duty vehicles from Sec. 393.67(c)(7)(ii),
and also 49 CFR 393.67(f)(2) and (f)(3), which require that liquid fuel
tanks be marked with the manufacturer's name and display a
certification label that the tank conforms to all applicable rules in
On August 10, 1999, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), now
the FMCSA, published a Notice of Intent to grant Ford's application for
exemption (64 FR 43417). The FHWA requested public comment on Ford's
application and the agency's safety analysis and presented other
relevant information. After considering all the comments received, the
agency granted an exemption to Ford on December 20, 1999 (64 FR 71184).
In that notice (at 71185), the agency noted that the 20 gallon per
minute rate, while appropriate for diesel fuel-powered vehicles,
mandates that fill pipes on gasoline-powered vehicles be capable of
receiving fuel at twice the maximum rate gasoline pumps are allowed to
dispense fuel.\1\ The vehicles in question are gasoline-fueled and are
capable of receiving fuel at a rate of 17 gallons per minute.
\1\ As noted in our discussion below, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) standard is 10 gpm.
The FMCSA published a notice of intent on November 2, 2001 (66 FR
55727), to renew Ford's exemption and renewed the exemption on December
27, 2001 (66 FR 66970). Also on the same day, FMCSA published a Notice
of Intent to extend the exemption to additional Ford vehicles of
similar design (66 FR 66971). The agency granted that exemption on
March 27, 2002 (67 FR 14765).
The chronology for the GM vehicles followed a similar pattern. The
vehicles that were the subject of the petition were the G-vans
(Chevrolet Express and GMC Savannah) and full size C/K trucks
(Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra). In a comment to the docket
concerning the Ford petition, dated September 9, 1999, GM stated its
support for the agency's preliminary determination and petitioned for
the same exemption for its vehicles. On December 20, 1999, the FMCSA
published a Notice of Intent to grant GM's application for exemption
(64 FR 71186). The agency granted GM's petition on April 26, 2000 (65
FR 24531). The FMCSA published a notice of intent to renew the
exemption on December 27, 2001 (66 FR 66972). It was renewed on March
27, 2002 (67 FR 14764).
In addition to the safety regulations published by the FMCSA and
the NHTSA, vehicles and internal-combustion engines are subject to
environmental protection regulations published by the EPA. In many
cases, they are also subject to energy-efficiency regulations published
by the Department of Energy (DOE). Occasionally, these regulations
published by the EPA or the DOE can have an influence on the safety
regulations, as in this case.
Related EPA Regulations
The EPA issued four final rules under Title 40 of the CFR relevant
to the fuel-tank fill rate issue. Although the EPA rules address the
reduction of emissions from vehicle fueling, they are relevant to the
FMCSA safety regulations concerning fuel tank fill rates. This is
because they place a number of refueling regulatory requirements on
various parties. These include: Controls on the dispensing rate of
gasoline and methanol from pumps, the rate at which gasoline and
methanol fuels can be accepted into the tanks of certain vehicles, the
ability of the vehicle fuel systems to safely handle vapors released
during fueling, and the ability of the fuel systems to safely prevent
any spitback of fuel during the fueling process.
The four EPA rules are: (1) A final rule concerning evaporative
emissions testing and fuel pump dispensing rates, issued March 24, 1993
(58 FR 16002), (2) a final rule concerning on-board refueling vapor
recovery (ORVR) systems to control refueling emissions, published in
the Federal Register on April 6, 1994 (59 FR 16262), (3) a final rule
concerning Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From Highway Heavy-
Duty Engines, published in the Federal Register on October 21, 1997 (62
FR 54693), and (4) a final rule for covering, among other things, on-
board refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) systems for heavy-duty vehicles,
issued October 6, 2000 (65 FR 59895).
The 1993 rule added Sec. 80.22(j) to Title 40 setting a maximum
dispensing rate of 10 gallons (37.9 liters (L)) per minute (/m) for
most gasoline and methanol pumps, effective January 1, 1996. Certain
facilities with low sales volume were given two additional years to
comply. It also added new regulations which address, among other
things, the standard for the fuel-dispensing spitback test for 1996 and
later model year light-duty vehicles (0-6000 lbs GVWR) (Sec. 86.096-
8), 1996 and later model year light-duty trucks (6,001-8,500 lbs GVWR)
(Sec. 86.096-9), and 1996 and later model year Otto-cycle (standard
four-cycle electronic ignition) heavy-duty vehicles (8,501-10,000 lbs
GVWR) and engines (Sec. 86.096-10).
The 1994 rule sets forth additional requirements for controlling
vehicle refueling emissions through the use of vehicle-based systems
(that is, on-board vapor recovery (ORVR) systems). The requirements are
to be phased in beginning with model year 1998 for light-duty vehicles,
model year 2001 for light-duty trucks (0-6000 lbs GVWR), and model year
2004 for light-duty trucks (6,001-8,500 lbs GVWR). The 1994 rule
carries forward the spitback standard published in 1993, although the
EPA provides an alternative assessment procedure that is combined with
the ORVR testing requirement.
Although the EPA had proposed that heavy-duty vehicles (8,501-
10,000 lbs GVWR) be subject to the same on-board vapor recovery
requirements as light-duty vehicles, it decided not to include them in
the 1994 final rule. EPA noted that only a small number of heavy-duty
vehicles are gasoline powered, and that its final rule would apply to
91 percent of all gasoline-fueled trucks. EPA's spitback and ORVR rules
are not applicable to diesel fuels and diesel fueled vehicles because
the Reid Vapor Pressure \2\ of diesel fuel is very low (e.g., less than
1 pound per square inch (psi)) and, thus, spitback and refueling
emissions are insignificant.
\2\ The pressure exerted by a vapor in equilibrium with the
solid or liquid phase of the same substance. Also, the partial
pressure of the substance in the atmosphere above the solid or the
The EPA 1997 final rule adopted a new emissions standard and
related provisions for diesel heavy-duty engines intended for highway
operation. The standards affect emission levels and durability of
emissions controls. They apply beginning with the 2004 model year.\3\
\3\ The terms of the Consent Decree that accelerated the
compliance date to October 1, 2002 affects engines in diesel-fueled
CMVs that are not the subject of this NPRM.
The EPA final rule concerning control of emissions from highway
heavy-duty engines, published October 6, 2000 (65 FR 59896) adopted
ORVR standards for model year 2005 and later heavy-duty vehicles (see
40 CFR 86.1816-05(e)). ORVR standards are applicable to all complete
heavy-duty vehicles \4\ from 8,501 lbs GVWR to 10,000 lbs GVWR. The
ORVR standards will be phased in with 80 percent compliance required in
2005 model year vehicles and 100 percent compliance required in 2006
model year and later vehicles.
\4\ The Clean Air Act defines heavy-duty vehicles as those with
a GVWR of greater than 6,000 pounds. However, EPA has classified
vehicles between 6,000 and 8,500 pounds GVWR as light-duty vehicles,
while treating them as heavy-duty for statutory pruposes. See 65 FR
59897 (October 6, 2000), at 59898.
However, as noted above, EPA requirements on evaporative emissions
limit fuel-dispensing rates for gasoline and methanol pumps. The rates
may not exceed 10 gpm (37.9 L/m). This action was taken to ensure that
vehicles designed to prevent spitback during refueling at 10 gpm would
not experience in-use fueling rates beyond the rate they were designed
to accommodate. Also, a 10 gpm maximum fuel-dispensing rate is an
inherent design parameter for vehicles designed to meet ORVR emission
standards. ORVR vehicles that are refueled at dispensing rates above 10
gpm would likely exceed ORVR emissions standards because the vehicle's
carbon canister is not designed to adsorb hydrocarbon vapors
satisfactorily at these higher dispensing rates.
Retailers and wholesale purchasers-consumers handling over 10,000
gallons (37,854 L) of fuel per month were required to comply with the
EPA final rule starting July 1, 1996. Other retailers and wholesale
purchasers-consumers were required to comply by January 1, 1998. Any
dispensing pump that is dedicated exclusively to heavy-duty
vehicles, boats, or airplanes is exempt from this requirement. EPA
intends to make future rule changes to clarify that: (1) The 10 gpm
refueling requirement also applies to ethanol pumps; and (2) the
exemption does not apply to pumps used to refuel heavy-duty vehicles
which meet ORVR emissions standards (that is, the exemption only
applies to heavy-duty vehicles above 10,000 lbs GVWR).
Inconsistency Between FMCSA and EPA Fuel Tank Fill Rate Requirements
The changes in the EPA regulation created an inconsistency between
the fuel tank fill rate requirements of FMCSA and those of the EPA. As
discussed above, Sec. 393.67(c)(7)(ii) of the FMCSRs requires a CMV
fuel tank of 25 or more gallons capacity to accept fuel at a fill rate
of at least 20 gpm. That is twice the maximum nozzle flow rate of 10
gpm for gasoline and methanol fuel pumps allowed by EPA regulations at
40 CFR 80.22(j). Ford and GM brought this inconsistency to the
attention of the FMCSA as it applies to vehicles defined at 49 CFR
390.5, which are subject to the FMCSRs, and, by extension, State
regulations compatible with Part 393. It is also twice the maximum fill
fuel dispensing rate specified by the EPA at 40 CFR 80.22(j), and twice
the fuel fill rate specified for the various fuel spitback tests at 40
The EPA regulations concerning gasoline dispensing rates have
already been implemented, and pumps subject to the regulations (i.e.,
all pumps except those dedicated to heavy-duty vehicles, boats, or
planes) were required to comply with the 10 gpm (37.9 L/m) maximum
dispensing rate requirements by January 1, 1998. Furthermore, depending
upon the vehicle class, many of today's vehicles are already designed
to meet ORVR and spitback emissions standards based on the EPA 10 gpm
fuel fill rate requirements. Considering both of these issues, the 20-
gallon per minute fill rate required under the FMCSRs is incompatible
with the EPA regulations for those vehicles. It is possible that some
of the gasoline- or methanol-fueled vehicles with GVWRs above 8,500 lbs
GVWR might be fueled at facilities not subject to the EPA regulation on
fuel dispensing rates. However, as noted in the agency's August 10,
1999 notice concerning the original Ford petition, Ford believed the
`` * * * to be more a subject of convenience. With virtually all
filling stations using the industry standard automatic shut-off
nozzles, it is unlikely that fuel will be spilled even while using a
high flow rate delivery system. These standard nozzles substantially
reduce any potential safety risk introduced by filling an Econoline
vehicle at a rate above its capacity of 17 gallons per minute.''
Ford also noted that the 17-gpm rate is only 15 percent less than
the FMCSA requirement at Sec. 393.65 (64 FR 43417, at 43418).
The original applications for exemptions from Ford, and
subsequently from GM, sought temporary solutions to the inconsistency
between FMCSA safety regulations intended to prevent potential injuries
from the spillage of fuel during the refueling process, and EPA
regulations intended to protect against environmental harm resulting
from fuel spillage and the release of fuel vapors into the atmosphere.
This rulemaking is intended to provide a long-term resolution to the
inconsistency between these safety and environmental regulations, while
ensuring that the respective goals of FMCSA and EPA are not
As stated in the August 10, 1999 notice (at 43418), the gasoline-
fueled Ford Econoline Series light-truck-platform vehicles in question
were and continue (during the 2-year exemption) to be built with the
fuel tanks mounted between the frame rails. They use a fuel pipe system
routed to minimize exposure in the event of a crash. The maximum
filling rate does not exceed 17 gpm. Thus, as far as those Ford
vehicles for the exempted series were concerned, the agency
subsequently determined the intent of the FMCSR safety requirement was
satisfied because the fill rate was only slightly less than the FMCSR-
mandated rate (December 20, 1999; 64 FR 71184, at 71185). That is, for
those vehicles not fueled at facilities dispensing gasoline at the EPA-
mandated limit of 10 gpm, i.e., those vehicles that might be fueled at
locations used exclusively for refueling heavy-duty vehicles, the
agency determined that the level of safety would be equivalent to the
level of safety that would be obtained by complying with Sec.
As stated in the FMCSA December 20, 1999 notice (64 FR 71186, at
71187), the GM G and C/K vehicles were and continue to be equipped with
fuel tanks mounted between the frame rails. They use a fill pipe system
conforming to EPA requirements. Furthermore, for those vehicles with a
GVWR of less than 14,000 lbs (6,400 kilograms (kg)), the EPA requires
the vehicle to pass its Fuel Dispensing Spitback test (40 CFR Sec.
86.099-10(b)2(C); Sec. Sec. 86.1811 through 1815 paragraphs (d)(1)(iv)
(in each case), and Sec. 86.1816-05(d)(4)).\5\ Thus again, for the
duration of the 2-year exemption, FMCSA determined that safety concerns
associated with different fill rates are addressed by the requirement
that these vehicles must successfully comply with the spitback test.
\5\ In a final rule concerning evaporative emissions test
procedures (40 CFR 86, published March 24, 1993 [58 FR 16002]), EPA
noted that heavy-duty vehicles over 14,000 lbs (6,400 kg) GVWR are
typically designed with filler necks so short that fuel can be
dispensed directly into the fuel tank. These vehicles would
therefore not be expected to experience spitback. Therefore, they
are exempt from the spitback test requirements (58 FR 16002, at
In the original December 20, 1999 notice concerning the GM petition
(at 71187), GM agreed with Ford that the 20 gallon per minute fill
requirement is a matter of convenience. The GM vehicles that were the
subject of its petition for a 2-year exemption were and continue to be
equipped with fuel systems similar to those of the Ford vehicles, that
is, with fuel tanks mounted between the frame rails, and designed to
conform to FMVSS 301 requirements.
GM also suggested that the applicability of the FMCSA's fuel fill
rate regulation should be restricted to vehicles equipped with side-
mounted fuel tanks. GM contended that many of the FMCSR requirements
were developed for heavy-duty vehicles, rather than the type of
vehicles that were the subject of its petition. Many heavy-duty
vehicles with side-mounted fuel tanks have fill openings directly on
the fuel tank. Heavy-duty vehicles are also likely to be fueled at a
location where the fuel fill rate exceeds 10 gallons per minute. (As
noted earlier in this document, only pumps used exclusively to fuel
heavy trucks, boats, and airplanes are exempt from the EPA's fuel
dispensing rate requirement.)
The FMCSA agrees with the assessment that the current FMCSR 20 gpm
minimum fuel tank fill-rate has become a customer convenience
requirement rather than a safety requirement for all vehicles. FMCSA
further believes the EPA design constraints the vehicles must comply
with for emissions and fuel spitback testing adequately address any
problems such vehicles could encounter during refueling.
Proposal Concerning Fuel Fill Rate Requirements
As discussed in the FHWA's August 10, 1999 Notice of Application
from Ford Motor Company (64 FR 43417, at 43418), FMCSA believes the
fill pipe capacity criterion, when applied to gasoline-powered
vehicles, is inconsistent with EPA regulations
concerning gasoline fuel pumps. The FMCSR mandates that these vehicles
be capable of receiving fuel at twice the maximum rate that these pumps
are allowed to dispense fuel by EPA regulations. The FMCSA also
continues to believe that a revision to the fuel fill rate requirements
should not present a safety problem because the vehicles using the fill
pipe and fueling system designs under consideration here are not likely
to be fueled at locations where fuel could be dispensed at the higher
The FMCSA believes that the other existing regulatory requirements,
including a restricted fuel-pump dispensing rate, fuel fill rate for
many (if not most) of these light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks,
plus required spitback and on-board refueling tests adequately address
the safety of fueling these vehicles. (These requirements are discussed
in detail under the above heading ``Related EPA Regulations.'')
Therefore, the FMCSA proposes to require gasoline- and methanol-fueled
vehicles with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds (3,744 kg) or less to comply with
the applicable spitback and onboard refueling regulations of the
Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR parts 86 and 88 (part 88
concerns clean-fuel vehicles). For gasoline- and methanol-fueled
vehicles with a GVWR of 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg) or less, the FMCSA
proposes to require that the vehicle comply with the applicable fuel-
spitback prevention regulations and onboard refueling regulations of
the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR part 86.
Applicability of FMVSS 301 to Certain Additional CMVs
The FMCSA periodically codifies published regulatory guidance.
Therefore, this NPRM also proposes to place in the FMCSRs previously
published FMCSA regulatory guidance concerning the applicability of
FMVSS 301 (Fuel System Integrity) to CMVs that have a GVWR of 10,000
lbs or less. In addition to the concern raised about the Ford and GM
vehicles, there is another family of vehicles that fall under the
definition of CMVs: Passenger vehicles designed or used to transport
between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver), in interstate
commerce, and similar vehicles carrying placardable amounts of
The existing Regulatory Guidance, published on April 4, 1997 (65 FR
16369, at 16417), reads as follows:
Question: Must a motor vehicle that meets the definition of a
``commercial motor vehicle'' in Sec. 390.5 because it transports
hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding under the
Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR parts 171-180) comply with
the fuel system requirements of Subpart E of Part 393, even though
it has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or
Guidance: No. FMVSS No. 301 contains fuel system integrity
requirements for passenger cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles,
trucks, and buses that have a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less and use
fuel with a boiling point above 0 deg. Celsius (32 deg. Fahrenheit).
Subpart E of part 393 was issued to provide fuel system requirements
to cover motor vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001 or more pounds. FMVSS
No. 301 adequately addresses the fuel systems of placarded motor
vehicles with a GVWR of less than 10,001 pounds and compliance with
subpart E of part 393 would be redundant. However, commercial motor
vehicles that are not covered by FMVSS No. 301 must continue to
comply with subpart E of part 393.
Motor vehicles that meet the fuel system integrity requirements of
NHTSA Sec. 571.301 would be exempt from the requirements of FMCSA
Subpart E of Part 393. The FMCSA proposes to include this provision
under Sec. 393.67 rather than Sec. 393.65. Since the NHTSA standard
deals with the overall integrity of liquid fuel systems, referencing it
in the FMCSRs would take the place of a set of component-oriented
standards for the class of smaller vehicles that are considered CMVs
under the FMCSRs.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.) You may review DOT's
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
The FMCSA has determined that this proposed regulatory action is
not significant within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 and under
the regulatory policies and procedures of the DOT.
This proposed rule would revise the regulations concerning the fuel
systems of certain light-duty vehicles used as CMVs. First, it would
exclude from the fuel system integrity requirements of the FMCSRs
certain light-duty vehicles that are required to comply with the fuel
system integrity requirements of FMVSS 301. Second, it would revise the
requirements of section 393.67, Fill pipe, to bring them into
conformity with EPA regulations. The FMCSA believes these changes would
simplify motor carriers' ability to comply with the FMCSRs, and would
not diminish the safe operation of these vehicles.
Based on the information presented here, FMCSA anticipates that
this rulemaking will have minimal economic impact on the interstate
motor carrier industry. Unless a motor carrier operates pumps that are
used exclusively to fuel heavy-duty vehicles, motor carriers have been
required to comply with the limitation on fueling rate since January 1,
Under provisions of The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety
Act (``Vehicle Safety Act'') (49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., codified at 49
U.S.C. 30112) and NHTSA's implementing regulations, vehicles must be
certified to meet all applicable FMVSSs at the time of their
manufacture. Since the fuel systems of vehicles under 10,000 lbs GVWR
are required to comply with FMVSS 301, there is no need for the FMCSA
to require a separate fuel certification label on the fuel tanks of
This rulemaking imposes no requirements that would generate new
costs for motor carriers. Those entities would see no change to their
operations, provided they ensure that their CMVs with GVWRs of up to
10,000 pounds already comply with FMVSS 301, and their gasoline- and
methanol-fueled CMVs comply with the applicable EPA regulations. This
rulemaking is being proposed to harmonize the fuel system integrity
requirements of FMCSA with those of the NHTSA and the EPA.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612) the FMCSA has evaluated the effects of this proposed rulemaking on
small entities. Motor carriers would not be subject to any new
requirements under this proposal. Generally, they would only have
access to vehicles that comply with the FMVSSs and the EPA
requirements. As a result, motor carriers may incur only minimal new
costs, considerably less than the guideline of $100 million or more in
any one year.
Therefore, the FMCSA has preliminarily determined that this
regulatory action would not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities. The FMCSA invites public comment
on this determination.
Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
This proposed action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a)
and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.
Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)
Executive Order 13045, ``Protection of Children from Environmental
Health Risks and Safety Risks'' (April 23, 1997, 62 FR 19885), requires
that agencies issuing ``economically significant'' rules that concern
an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has reason to
believe may disproportionately affect children must include an
evaluation of the environmental health and safety effects of the
regulation on children. Section 5 of Executive Order 13045 directs an
agency to submit for a ``covered regulatory action'' an evaluation of
its environmental health or safety effects on children.
The agency has determined that this proposed rule is not a
``covered regulatory action'' as defined under Executive Order 13045.
First, this NPRM is not economically significant under Executive Order
12866. Second, the agency has no reason to believe that the proposed
rule would result in an environmental health risk or safety risk that
would disproportionately affect children. The vehicles that are the
subject of this rulemaking are required to comply with both NHTSA and
EPA standards concerning fuel system integrity and fuel tank fill rate.
The agency has preliminarily determined that the proposed rule would
have no significant environmental impacts.
Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)
This proposed rule would revise the FMCSRs concerning fuel system
integrity and fuel tank fill rate, as they apply to gasoline-fueled
CMVs, to bring them into conformance with current NHTSA and EPA
regulations. It would also make permanent the exemptions previously
granted at the request of Ford and GM.
No new action is required on the part of those motor carriers that
currently operate or plan to operate on U.S. highways, because these
vehicles are already required to comply with the NHTSA and EPA
requirements referenced in this proposal. If the FMCSA issues a final
rule, motor carriers operating vehicles on or after that rule's
effective date, in compliance with the NHTSA and EPA requirements,
would not need to apply for an exemption.
The FMCSA therefore has preliminarily determined that this proposed
rule has no taking implications under the Fifth Amendment or Executive
Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
This proposed action has been analyzed in accordance with the
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, dated
August 4, 1999. The FMCSA has preliminarily determined this proposed
rule does not have a substantial direct effect on, or sufficient
federalism implications for, the States, nor would it limit the
policymaking discretion of the States.
These proposed changes to the FMCSRs would not directly preempt any
State law or regulation. They would not impose additional costs or
burdens on the States. Although the States are required to adopt part
393 as a condition for receiving Motor Carrier Safety Assistance
Program grants, the additional training and orientation that would be
required for roadside enforcement officials would be minimal, and it
would be covered under the existing grant program. Also, this action
would not have a significant effect on the States' ability to execute
traditional State governmental functions.
Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.217, Motor
Carrier Safety. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372
regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and
activities do not apply to this program.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This proposed action would not involve an information collection
that is subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of
1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.
National Environmental Policy Act
The agency has analyzed this rulemaking for the purpose of the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
has preliminarily determined in an environmental assessment (EA) that
this proposed action would not have an adverse effect on the quality of
the environment. A copy of the EA is contained in the public docket.
This notice of proposed rulemaking involves: (1) A revision of the
FMCSRs' CMV fuel fill rate requirements to align them with those of the
EPA for gasoline and methanol-fueled vehicles up to 14,000 lbs GVWR;
(2) making permanent the terms of the exemptions previously granted to
motor carriers operating certain gasoline-fueled commercial motor
vehicles manufactured by Ford and by GM; and (3) incorporating into the
FMCSRs previously issued regulatory guidance concerning the
applicability of the agency's fuel tank rules to vehicles subject to
the NHTSA fuel system integrity standard at the time of manufacture.
The agency's proposed revision to the FMCSRs would not cause a
change in the EPA's regulations, nor would it require a change in the
design, operation, or fueling of these vehicles. It would simply
acknowledge the existence of a different set of fuel fill-rate
regulations for gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles, promulgated by
the EPA to improve air quality by reducing vapor emissions from
refueling, which were not considered at the time the fuel tank fill
rate provision was added to the FMCSRs in 1952. The proposal would also
make permanent the exemptions previously granted to motor carriers
operating certain gasoline-fueled CMVs manufactured by Ford and GM
which comply with the EPA regulations applicable to them. Finally, the
proposal would also explicitly acknowledge these vehicles' compliance
with FMVSS 301, thus eliminating redundancy with NHTSA regulations. The
FMCSA has preliminarily determined that these proposals would have no
significant impact on the environment. Thus, the proposed action does
not require an environmental impact statement. FMCSA invites comments
from the public to assess any potential environmental impacts
associated with this proposal.
We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211,
Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
Distribution, or Use. We have preliminarily determined that it is not a
``significant energy action'' under that order because it is not likely
to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or
use of energy. It would revise the regulations concerning fuel system
integrity and fuel tank fill rate, as they apply to gasoline-fueled
CMVs, to bring them into conformance with current NHTSA and EPA
regulations. It has no direct relation to energy consumption. The
Administrator of the
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a
significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement
of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.
This proposed rule would not impose a Federal mandate resulting in
the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one
year (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The FMCSA merely seeks to implement a
regulation that is inherently a design requirement for the vehicle and
does not lend itself to roadside verification. Persons performing
inspections at the roadside would likely receive orientation on this
proposal (if it becomes a rule) as part of their regular in-service
training. However, they would not be trained, equipped, or expected to
check fuel tank fill rates at the roadside. Also, since the FMCSA is
proposing to codify an existing exemption that had already been
provided for light-duty CMVs with certain VINs, the agency anticipates
that minimal, if any, additional training would be required. The
inspectors would only need to refer to a reference card listing those
grandfathered VINs. To the extent that States incur costs due to
implementation of this proposal, they would be minimal and covered
under the existing MCSAP grant program.
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 393
Highway and roads, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle equipment, Motor
In consideration of the foregoing, the FMCSA proposes to amend
title 49, CFR, subchapter B, chapter III, part 393 as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 393 would continue to read as
Authority: Sec. 1041(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914; 49
U.S.C. 31136 and 31502; and 49 CFR 1.73.
2. Section 393.67 is proposed to be amended by adding new
paragraphs (a)(7) and (f)(4), and revising paragraph (c)(7) to read as
Sec. 393.67 Liquid Fuel Tanks.
(a) * * *
(7) Motor vehicles that meet the fuel system integrity requirements
of 49 CFR 571.301 are exempt from the requirements of this subpart, as
they apply to the vehicle's fueling system.
* * * * *
(c) * * *
(7) Fill pipe.
(i) Each fill pipe must be designed and constructed to minimize the
risk of fuel spillage during fueling operations and when the vehicle is
involved in a crash.
(ii) For diesel-fueled vehicles, the fill pipe and vents of a fuel
tank having a capacity of more than 25 gallons (94.75 L) of fuel must
permit filling the tank with fuel at a rate of at least 75.8 L/m (20
gallons per minute) without fuel spillage.
(iii) For gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles with a GVWR of
8,500 pounds (3,744 kg) or less, the vehicle must permit filling the
tank with fuel dispensed at the applicable fill rate required by the
regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 80.22.
(iv) For gasoline- and methanol-fueled vehicles with a GVWR of
14,000 pounds (6,400 kg) or less, the vehicle must comply with the
applicable fuel-spitback prevention and onboard refueling vapor
recovery (ORVR) regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency
under 40 CFR part 86.
(v) Each fill pipe must be fitted with a cap that can be fastened
securely over the opening in the fill pipe. Screw threads or a bayonet-
type point are methods of conforming to the requirements of paragraph
(c) of this section.
* * * * *
(f) * * *
(f)(4) Exception. The following previously exempted vehicles are
not required to carry the certification and marking specified in
Paragraphs (f)(1) through (3) of this section:
(i) First group of Ford E-Series vehicles identified as follows:
The vehicle identification numbers (VINs) contain E30, E37, E39, E40,
or E47 codes in the fifth, sixth, and seventh positions. The fuel tanks
are marked with Ford part numbers F3UA-9002-G*, F3UA-9002-H*, F4UA-
9002-V*, F4UA-9002-X*, F5UA-9002-V*, F5UA-9002-X*, F6UA-9002-Y*, F6UA-
9002-Z*, F7UA-9002-C*, and F7UA-9002D* where the asterisk (*)
represents a ``wild card'' character (any character of the alphabet).
(ii) Second group of Ford E-Series vehicles identified as follows:
The VINs contain E35 or E55 codes in the fifth, sixth, and seventh
positions. The fuel tanks are marked with Ford part numbers F3UA-9002-
G*, F3UA-9002-H*, F4UA-9002-V*, F4UA-9002-X*, F5UA-9002-V*, F5UA-9002-
X*, F6UA-9002-Y*, F6UA-9002-Z*, F7UA-9002-C*, F7UA-9002D*, YC25-9002-D*
(a new fuel tank for E37 series vehicles), or 2C24-9002-E* (a new fuel
tank for E55 series vehicles) where the asterisk (*) represents a
``wild card'' character (any character of the alphabet).
(iii) Ford F-Series vehicles identified as follows: The VINs
contain an F53 code in the fifth, sixth, and seventh positions. The
fuel tanks are marked with part numbers 1C34-9K007-F*, 1C34-9K007-G*,
and 1C34-9K007-H* where the asterisk (*) represents a ``wild card''
character (any character of the alphabet).
(iv) GM G-Vans (Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna) and full-sized
C/K trucks (Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra) with gross vehicle
weight ratings over 10,000 pounds identified as follows: The VINs
contain either a ``J'' or a ``K'' in the fourth position. In addition,
the seventh position of the VINs on the G-Van would contain a ``1.''
* * * * *
Issued on: November 4, 2003.
Annette M. Sandberg,
[FR Doc. 03-28255 Filed 11-10-03; 8:45 am]