Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum issued the following statement in response to a status report released on September 22 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding fuel refiners' readiness to meet ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel regulations set for June 2006:"Today the EPA issued a report which indicates that not only are fuel refiners on track to meet the 15 parts per million (ppm) sulfur limit for diesel fuel by 2006, but that the fuel will be widely available nationwide (95 percent will meet the 15 ppm specifications) with production well in line with demand. This conclusion came from EPA's analysis of data collected by more than 120 refineries.“The report is an indication that the entire diesel industry is on track for the on-time delivery of remarkably clean trucks and buses. Now less than two years away, these new clean diesel engines and fuels will play a leading role in helping cities meet new air quality goals. In fact, ULSD is already available on a limited basis serving a number of niche markets, particularly transit and school bus fleets.“For the manufacturers of on-highway diesel engines, fuel refiners and exhaust aftertreatment manufacturers, 2007 is the ultimate clean diesel milestone. From the time these new standards were adopted in 2000, the entire diesel industry has been working toward the 2006 ULSD fuel mandate that will set the stage for the subsequent virtual elimination of diesel emissions - with a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM) and an 87 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 2007.