To facilitate the transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a 45-day extension for terminals and retail outlets to comply with the 15-ppm standard, moving the retail compliance date to Oct 15, 2006.
Terminals will have until Sept 1, 2006, rather than July 15, 2006, to comply. Retailers originally were scheduled for Sept 1, 2006.
EPA said it provided the extension because 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. However, the impacts of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes are not a factor in the action.
During the extended transition period, diesel fuel meeting a 22-ppm level can be marketed as ULSD at the pump. EPA does not expect to adjust the schedule again.
The 45-day extension does not affect the start date for refineries to be producing ULSD fuel.
The revised transition dates will cause some manufacturers of diesel engines and vehicles to delay their introduction of the 2007 models that must use ULSD exclusively. However, because these changes will help ensure the universal availability of ULSD, the engine and vehicle industry has indicated that these limited changes are acceptable, according to EPA.