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Compromise Reached in Washington on Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel

October 3, 2000

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Warring factions have reportedly reached a compromise over how fast to phase in the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirement of the forthcoming diesel emissions regulations.

While the original proposed rule would have required all diesel fuel for on-road use to contain not more than 15 parts per million of sulfur, down from 500, by 2006, the compromise apparently calls for only 75 percent to initially meet that requirement, with the rest being phased in.
This is according to National Journal's CongressDaily, which quoted "sources familiar with" a meeting between the White House and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
The DOE had wanted a 50 percent phase-in. However, a broad -- and unusual -- coalition of the California Trucking Association, environmental groups, auto makers, engine makers, emissions control developers and independent refiner Tosco urged the White House and EPA to stick with the "fully implemented" ultra-low-sulfur standard for 2006.
"Any phase-in approach that results in a two-fuel system would jeopardize the environmental benefits of the rule; delay sales of the new cleaner diesel engines; require unnecessary multibillion dollar capital investments by the nation's diesel refines, transporters and sellers; and result in a needless burden on the nation's truck operators and 58,000 retail fuel sellers," said the letter to President Clinton.
After the compromise was reached the final rule was sent back to the White House Office of Management and Budget for some final changes. The final rule is expected to be published in the next few weeks.

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