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Release Date: 03/20/1998
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, Press Office, (617)918-1064

BOSTON --A Wallingford, Connecticut contractor, previously cited by the EPA for operating company trucks on a fuel designated for off-road use, has taken several significant steps to safeguard against future environmental problems relating to fueling its fleet. R.L. Rogers and Sons, Inc. was found to be using high sulfur diesel fuel in five of the company trucks when EPA and the IRS conducted a random truck pullover inspection. Rogers immediately began pumping out all the red-dyed, high sulfur fuel from the truck gas tanks on the day of inspection. Since then, the company has instructed all of its truck drivers about the use of low sulfur diesel fuel in on-road trucks, keeps records of each truck's fuel usage, and has clearly marked the above ground storage tank as low sulfur fuel for use in company trucks. To settle the case filed against it by the EPA, Rogers will pay a $5,775 fine.

"The long term public health benefits from using cleaner diesel far outweighs the cost savings realized from using the cheaper fuel," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England administrator. "The fine imposed here doesn't mean as much as the changes Rogers has made to ensure that its vehicles use lower polluting fuel in its trucks."

Under the federal Clean Air Act, vehicles used on federal and state highways and local roads are required to use diesel containing .05 percent sulfur or less by weight. . High sulfur diesel, which costs less than low-sulfur diesel, is commonly used as heating oil and fuel for off-road equipment and engines, such as cranes, generators, boats and locomotives.

Use of high sulfur diesel in motor vehicles increases the emissions of small particulate matter, which can lead to severe lung problems and increases susceptibility to respiratory infection such as pneumonia, aggravation of acute and chronic bronchitis, and asthma. Small particulate matter also contributes to the formation of the smoke that is widely associated with diesel engines.