The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) held its annual meeting last week in Philadelphia, during which it considered two topics of particular interest to NATSO members: a proposal to tighten diesel dispenser filtration requirements for dispensers with a flow rate of less than 15 gallons per minute, and a proposal to create an official diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) method of sale for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
NCWM officials again voted down the proposal that called for reducing the filter size requirement. The topic has been debated at NCWM over the last several years and now rejected twice by its membership. NATSO participated in the debate last week and, along with other retail fuel groups, successfully advocated that NCWM reject this measure.
The issue has become representative of a much larger discussion involving general diesel fuel specifications and cleanliness. With new diesel engine technologies developing, many manufacturers are calling for a cleaner diesel product for consumers in the marketplace. NATSO and other fuel retailing organizations successfully argued that instead of debating this topic at NCWM, the appropriate venue for this discussion should be at ASTM International, which is a body responsible for setting fuel specifications. It is NATSO’s view that a comprehensive solution to diesel cleanliness should be adopted that considers all entities in the supply chain – not a selective, burdensome filter regulation at NCWM that only targets small businesses at the end of the supply chain.
Another significant issue under consideration at NCWM for fuel retailers is the proposal to establish a uniform standard for diesel gallon equivalency (DGE) for CNG and LNG. At issue before the conference is whether to sell natural gas in “gallon equivalents” or by a unit of mass. Many NCWM officials have pushed for several years to mandate the sale of natural gas in mass, despite strong push back from the natural gas industry, NATSO, and other fuel retailing groups.
Despite broad support by NATSO and other industry representatives, NCWM failed to gain enough votes to adopt a diesel gallon equivalency measurement for LNG and CNG. Thus, the proposal will go back to the Laws and Regulations committee for more work and will be considered again in January at the NCWM interim meeting.
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