NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, is an essential publication for facility owners and operators, authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) and inspectors, and architects and engineers involved in the design and construction of motor fuel dispensing facilities.
The 2018 edition of NFPA 30A contained a new chapter (Section 14) that addresses on-site, on-demand fueling. In this concept, the patron arranges for fueling of his or her vehicle using a service that delivers and dispenses fuel at a time and location of the patron’s choice. Several business models are used.
The committee responsible for the 2018 edition of NFPA 30A exempted fleet fueling, as covered in Section 9.6, from the provisions of the new chapter, recognizing that fleet fueling is conducted in a controlled environment, at sites not accessible to the public. The committee also concluded that mobile fueling and delivery vehicle parking in buildings, in covered parking structures, on public streets, and on public ways was an unacceptable risk and should be prohibited (Section 14.2.6).
The mobile fueling industry approached the NFPA 30A committee with additional proposals for the current edition (2021) of the publication aimed at permitting mobile fueling in additional locations. After much discussion and debate, new requirements for on-demand mobile fueling on public streets were added to the 2021 language of Chapter 14.
Another proposal in the form of a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) submitted by Yoshi would have allowed non-tank vehicles to operate in aboveground, open parking structures. Despite strong and impassioned support from notables such as Nick Alexander—the co-founder and CEO of Yoshi—and former United States Senator William H. Frist, M.D., that proposal was not approved by the NFPA 30A committee.
NFPA 30A has recognized on-site, on-demand mobile fueling with the inclusion of Chapter 14 in its code. That chapter is an important and foundational piece of code language that will shape the mobile fueling industry for decades to come. More changes are certain to be sought by the industry during the present code cycle. Public input for the next edition (2024) is open until June 1, 2021. How the Code 30A committee deals with them bears watching.
The 2021 edition of NFPA 30A became available November 13, 2020. Go to www.nfpa.org to order.