Lack of availability and testing impedes making ULSD use a reality in Canada: CTA

Widespread availability and testing of ultra low sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD) on 2007 truck engines is an absolute necessity before any regulations mandating the use of such fuel in Canada are implemented.

Canadian Trucking Alliance Vice President of Economics Stephen Laskowski said as much in his written response to Environment Canada's call for comments on two proposed amendments to the Sulphur in Diesel Regulations put forward by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI). The regulations are slated to be implemented next autumn.

The CPPI is requesting these two amendments in order to harmonize the Canadian regulation with recent changes proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency: (1) Shift the retail compliance date for meeting the lower sulphur standard by 45 days (from September 1 to Oct 15, 2006); (2) Allow on-road diesel fuel with a sulphur level of up to 22 ppm to be marketed until Oct 15, 2006.

In a September 2005 meeting with Class 8 engine manufacturers, CTA was informed 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, said Laskowksi.

CTA is requesting that Environment Canada intervene to ensure that CPPI members begin making sufficient ULSD available for testing on 2007 Class 8 prototype trucks. The association also wants Environment Canada to develop a mechanism to 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.

Additionally, CTA wants Environment Canada to provide assurances that ULSD will be the exclusive fuel available in the Canadian market, excluding remote northern communities (as outlined in the 2002 regulation) post-Oct 15, 2006.

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