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EnviroCan may delay ULSD deadline; exempts remote north from rule
OTTAWA -– In order to mitigate some of the expected problems during the transition from 500 ppm-based sulfur fuel to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), Environment Canada will likely follow the U.S.'s lead in granting the petroleum industry a 45-day extension to introduce the fuel to market. The federal department has issued a guidance explaining the new regulations, which require the use of 15 ppm ULSD in new, EPA-mandated engines after Jan. 1, 2007.

15 ppm not yet mandatory for Great White North
The rule, which originally was to take affect in June 2006, could allow a reduced sulfur content of 22 ppm to be sold in Canada starting Sept. 1 until Oct. 15, at which point 15 ppm ULSD will be fully required. Last year, the U.S. EPA said 22 ppm could be marketed as ULSD at the pump until October. Sources in the oil industry believe, for the most part, ULSD will be widely available across North America. However, there are still some lingering concerns that some ULSD may get contaminated by higher sulfur residue in pipelines or during handling, which could pinch supply in more remote areas. In a press release, Canadian Trucking Alliance Economics and Environment VP Stephen Laskowski pointed to the differences between U.S. and Canadian enforcement of mandatory ULSD, particularly in Canada's "northern supply area", which will temporarily be exempted from using 15 ppm ULSD when the new rule comes into force. The area includes all of Nunavut, most of the Northwest Territories and some of the northern Yukon; a 50-km strip of land along the Hudson Bay and James Bay coast in northeast Manitoba and northern Ontario; northern Quebec, and all of Labrador. The area excludes most primary roads in the North. "Generally, it is difficult to supply these northern locations, especially in the winter. Fuel shipments to these areas take place from mid-May to September," Environment Canada states. "Refueling facilities in these areas are generally slow to turnover their diesel fuel stock." -- Look for extensive ULSD and '07 engine coverage in the upcoming April issue of Today's Trucking
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