EPA Eases Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Transition

Posted on November 10, 2005

To facilitate the transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it is providing a 45-day extension for terminals and retail outlets to comply with the 2006 15 ppm standard, moving the retail compliance date to Oct. 15, 2006 and the terminal date to Sept. 1, 2006. During this extended transition period, EPA said diesel fuel meeting a 22 ppm level can be marketed as ULSD at the pump. The agency does not expect to adjust the schedule again.

EPA added that this 45-day extension does not affect the start date for refineries to be producing ULSD fuel. The reason for the extension is that some in the fuel distribution industry had indicated that on the current schedule, ULSD may not be available at a small number of retail outlets. The impacts of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes are not a factor in today's action.

The revised transition dates will cause some manufacturers of diesel engines and vehicles to delay their introduction of the 2007 models that must use ULSD exclusively. However, EPA said, because these changes will help ensure the universal availability of ULSD, the engine and vehicle industry has indicated that these limited changes are acceptable.

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