EPA Report Says Refiners Will Meet Low-Sulfur Diesel Schedule

Refiners have indicated they can meet demand for lower-sulfur diesel by the time federal law phases it into use during 2006-10.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released an analysis of 126 refiners’ data. That report says current projections for 2006 indicate that 96 percent of the nearly 3 million barrels of highway diesel produced per day will meet the 15 parts per million sulfur standard by then.

“We’re pleased with the preliminary indications from fuel suppliers, because the new clean diesel fuel – in combination with EPA’s Acid Rain Program, cleaner vehicles and more stringent standards for ground-level ozone and particle pollution – will help us meet the goals of the Clean Air Act and further protect public health and the environment,” said Jeff Holmstead, an EPA assistant administrator.

The low-sulfur diesel fuel is expected to be widely available by 2006, the agency said.
This fall, the Truck Renting and Leasing Association voted to oppose the four-year phase-in provision of low-sulfur fuel, according to a recent association newsletter. TRALA’s board has asked its president, Peter Vroom, to propose to the American Trucking Associations a mutual advocacy for a single diesel fuel standard.

Low-sulfur diesel fuel will begin phasing in during mid-2006. Until mid-2010, fuel that has both the current sulfur content standard of 500 ppm and the new 15 ppm will be sold.

Much of the new diesel engine technology for new 2007 emission standards is not compatible with the current fuel standard, and association members have said they are concerned about supply of fuel to meet the new technology.

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