(Washington)—A recent ruling by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will require that states adopt a weight limit exemption for trucks that run primarily on Compressed Natural Gas, and travel on federal highways.
In 2017, Federal legislation was passed that allowed states to permit Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles to carry an additional 2,000 pounds on federal highways due to the weight of the tanks. At that time, states were not required to adopt the weight limit exemption. However, several did.
Ohio adopted the exemption prior to that law going into effect. However, because state had to sign off on such exemptions, Ohio’s change did not apply to federal highways. Clean Fuels Ohio has been working through the process to extend the exemption. Because of a variety of factors, there was some resistance to the change.
“The lack of the weight exemption puts some haulers at a competitive disadvantage because it forces CNG trucks to carry 2,000 pounds less per truck,” said Jason Phillips, Policy Director for Clean Fuels Ohio. “It is time for Ohio to make changes necessary to ensure we level the playing field with our neighboring states.”
The ruling by the FHWA will require Ohio to act. Legislation is currently being drafted to make the change. It is likely that legislation will be discussed late this year and should be passed at the end of 2018 or early 2019.