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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: EPA eases ULSD fuel compliance date

Posted: August 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, (May 31, 2005) — Sulfur standards will be temporarily eased in new diesel fuel blends mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA announced that to better facilitate the transition to the ultra-low sulfur diesel required for heavy-duty diesel engines next year, it would delay the compliance date for fuel retailers from September 1 to October 15, 2006. The agency says the amendment will allow more time for terminals and retail outlets to comply with the 15 parts per million (ppm) ULSD standard.

During that time, diesel fuel meeting a 22 ppm level can be marketed as ULSD. The agency says this action will help ensure nationwide transition to the originally mandated rule of 15 ppm ULSD prior to the introduction of new clean diesel trucks.

Additionally, the EPA says it will establish a test program, in cooperation with the fuel industry, to collect the data necessary to determine if the current 2 ppm testing tolerance is sufficient.

The agency says these transitional items will not interfere with the planned introduction of clean diesel vehicles and engines anticipated in the autumn of 2006.

As Today’s Trucking reported in an exclusive story recently, (see this week’s online feature titled Fuel Duel on’s homepage), some oil companies admit that cutting the sulfur content of diesel fuel from the current 500 ppm to 15 ppm by next year may not be a smooth process.

The hurdle for the oil companies isn’t so much the production of ULSF, but instead maintaining the 15-ppm level throughout the supply chain. It’s expected that ULSF produced at even lower than 15 ppm will pick up additional ppm as it mixes with remnants of other oil products throughout the pipeline and from transport tankers — altering the sulfur content before it gets to retailers.


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