WASHINGTON — In order to better facilitate the transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD), the Environmental Protection Agency is again extending the compliance deadline for retail outlets by 45 days.
The EPA says terminals and retail outlets now have until Oct. 15, 2006 to sell ULSD with a 15 ppm sulfur level. During this extended transition period, diesel fuel meeting a 22 ppm level can be marketed as ULSD at the pump. The agency says it does not expect to adjust the schedule again.
This 45-day extension does not affect the start date for refineries to be producing ULSD fuel, says EPA. 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.
EPA admits the revised schedule will cause some manufacturers of new diesel engines and vehicles to delay their introduction of the 2007 models — which must use ULSD exclusively. However, because these changes will help ensure the universal availability of ULSD, the engine and vehicle industry has indicated to the agency that these limited changes are acceptable.