C&E Spotlight: On-Demand Mobile Fueling—Enforcing Existing Regulations and Evaluating Future Needs

Blog Post created by laurenbackstrom Employee on Oct 4, 2017
Andrew Klein, Principle with AS Klein Engineering, and Lynne Kilpatrick, Fire Marshal in Sunnyvale, CA led an education session on ‘On-Demand Mobile Fueling; Enforcing Existing Regulations and Evaluating Future Needs” at NFPA Conference & Expo.    
On-demand mobile fueling is an emerging industry created by a number of Silicon Valley startups that caught the attention of Kilpatrick. Customers can fill up their automobile gas tanks through a smartphone app that sends a truck carrying gas to their parked car, where a serviceman pumps the requested amount of gallons. The problem with this seemingly brilliant, time-saving new business model, is that the fueling companies were operating in violation of local fire codes.    
Kilpatrick and the California State Fire Marshal’s Office set out to develop and submit code change proposals to both the ICC International Fire Code and NFPA 30A Motor Fuel Dispensing code. The fire service and the industry were fairly divided on some of the issues of the proposal, including where the fueling would be allowed, ignition sources & setbacks, permitting among others. To compromise, much of the code language leaves the decisions of some of these issues up to the AHJ.    
The 2018 edition of ICC’s International Fire Code, and the newly approved 2017 edition of NFPA 30A have now accepted the on-demand mobile fueling proposed additions.    
To learn more about what issues are covered and what is allowed in this new practice, read the NFPA Journal feature, New Fuels, New Fueling from the May/June issue or download the education session handouts from the Conference website (PDF).
As the fire service and enforcers learn more about this new industry, the codes will be able to be updated with regulations around some issues that are not currently addressed, including vehicle inspections, weights & measures, sales tax, insurance policies, environmental protection, etc as well as incorporating future applications such as hydrogen mobile fueling and marine fueling.
Did you know that NFPA Conference & Expo attendees and NFPA members get full access to all the 2017 NFPA C&E education session audio & video files? Browse the full list of education sessions - with attached audio/video - here.