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CTA wants widespread testing of ULSD before deadline
OTTAWA, -- Canadian truckers want to expedite testing of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel with new 2007 low emission engines before petroleum companies in Canada mirror the US EPA mandate of ULSD here next year. Widespread availability and testing of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) on 2007 truck engines is an absolute necessity before any regulations mandating its use are implemented, stated Stephen Laskowski, Canadian Trucking Alliance vice-president, in his written response to Environment Canada’s call for comments on two proposed amendments to the Sulfur in Diesel Regulations recently put forward by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI). The CPPI is requesting the following two amendments in order to harmonize the Canadian regulation with recent changes proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency: Shift the retail compliance date for meeting the lower sulfur standard by 45 days (from September 1 to October 15, 2006); and allow on-road diesel fuel with a slightly higher sulfur level of up to 22 ppm to be marketed until October 15, 2006. The EPA requires suppliers to reduce the sulfur content of diesel fuel from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 15 ppm by next fall. The limit is needed to achieve compatibility with the new '07-ready engine models and their exhaust aftertreatment devices. The regulation was supposed to go into effect in the summer of '06, but the agency recently allowed similar compliance extensions the CPPI is also proposing. “CTA has no objection to the proposed amendments put foreword by CPPI. However, CTA does believe CPPI and Environment Canada must begin working with the Alliance in examining and resolving two issues associated with the introduction of ULSD, firstly, pre-October 15, 2006 availability of ULSD and secondly, lubricity issues associated with ULSD," Laskowski states. Recently, class 8 enginemakers confirmed to CTA that the current lack of availability of ULSD in the Canadian market is causing problems in the road testing of 2007 class 8 prototype models. Furthermore, the lack of ULSD in the marketplace is hampering the identification of potential issues that may impact the environmental and operational performance of class 8 2007-model trucks. "As you are aware, the 2007 model trucks can only run on ULSD. This road testing phase is of critical importance to the engine makers in collecting needed data on the emission and engine performance characteristics of the 2007 engines and the corresponding impacts of ULSD on their product," Laskowski writes. "This road testing phase will allow the engine makers to address any concerns associated with ULSD, such as lubricity, with CPPI before the 2007 trucks hit the marketplace." As Today's Trucking reported in an exclusive story earlier this year, some fuel suppliers have reservations they can even meet the 15 ppm standard. Several oil company officials told the magazine that achieving the 15 ppm level in the production phase isn't a problem, but maintaining it throughout the supply chain is another matter entirely. What could happen -- about what suppliers are working to prevent -- is that ULSF produced at even lower than 15 ppm will travel through pipelines where it can mix with remnants of other products with higher sulfur, like furnace oil, and alter the sulfur content. It can theoretically pick up more sulfur each time it's handled, including at distribution plants, and in tanker trucks. Meanwhile, CTA is requesting that Environment Canada intervene to ensure that CPPI members begin making sufficient ULSD available for testing on 2007 class 8 proto-type trucks. The association also wants Environment Canada to develop a mechanism ensure that CPPI makes good on its promise to address concerns highlighted by the engine manufacturers regarding the impact of various grades of ULSD on the operational and environmental performance of 2007 vehicles. Furthermore, CTA is urging Environment Canada to provide assurances that ULSD will be the exclusive fuel available in the Canadian market, excluding remote northern communities.
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