Starting today, the nation's refineries begin producing low sulfur diesel fuel for use in off-road equipment. The new fuel will then wind its way through the distribution system, so that by Dec. 1, farming, construction
and mining equipment, locomotives and marine vessels, will switch to diesel containing nearly 85 percent less sulfur. This new off-road fuel has a sulfur content of 500 parts per million, reduced from approximately 3,000 parts per million in the previous blend.
"June 1 marks an important next step on the road to clean diesel. Last year saw the nationwide availability of on-highway ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel enabling manufacturers to engineer the cleanest diesel trucks ever. This new fuel will begin bringing the same benefits to off-road equipment," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
By 2010, sulfur levels in most non-road diesel fuel will be reduced to 15 parts per million, making it possible for engine manufacturers to use advanced exhaust control systems that significantly reduce emissions. For locomotive and marine fuel, this step will occur in 2012.