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EPA Confident of Sufficient Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Supply

October 5, 2004

U.S. refiners remain on target to supply ultralow-sulfur highway diesel fuel during the next 5 years, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 27, as reported by the Oil and Gas Journal. When fully implemented, EPA's Clean Diesel program will reduce 2.6 million tons/year of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from diesel exhaust — the equivalent of eliminating air pollution from 13 million trucks, the agency said. The reductions in NOx, an ozone precursor, largely will come from catalytic converters required for the first time in new diesel-fueled vehicles. Reduction of the sulfur in fuel is necessary to protect catalysts in the new equipment. In its “Summary and Analysis of the 2004 Highway Diesel Fuel Precompliance Reports,” EPA said 95 percent of the 3 million b/d of highway diesel produced will meet the 15 ppm sulfur-content standard in 2006. Refiners have to produce diesel with a sulfur content of 10 ppm or lower to assure delivered product meets the standard. EPA’s analysis of information from more than 120 refineries shows that fuel suppliers are prepared to comply with the standard on time. Enough 15 ppm highway diesel fuel will be available nationwide to meet expected demand, the report said. Allen Schaeffer, executive director of Diesel Technology Forum, Washington, D.C., said, “For the manufacturers of on-highway diesel engines, fuel refiners, and exhaust after-treatment 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 fuel mandate.”
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