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EPA, CARB, WSPA announce introduction of cleaner burning diesel

Release Date: 08/22/2006
Contact Information: Leo Kay, (415) 760-5420

(08/22/06) SAN FRANCISCO – At a new fueling terminal near Sacramento today, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri joined state and local air quality regulators, engine manufacturers and fuel providers in heralding the introduction of cleaner burning diesel to service stations throughout the state beginning Sept. 1.

Nationwide, the EPA is now requiring refiners and fuel importers to cut the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel 97 percent, from 500 parts per million to 15. The California Air Resources Board is requiring service stations to offer ultra-low sulfur diesel a month and a half before the federal deadline of Oct. 15.

The EPA estimates that ultra-low sulfur diesel will prevent nearly 8,300 premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma nationwide.

“The diesel rules will provide even more public health benefits than when we took the lead out of gasoline 25 years ago,” Nastri said. "Drastically cutting the emissions that cause soot and smog, the EPA is delivering cleaner engines, cleaner air and cleaner lungs."

"It’s good news for Sacramento that diesel truck fuel will now contain lower levels of sulfur. This means particulate matter will be decreased in our air and the health of our community will improve," said Larry Greene, Executive Director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

"The introduction of this ultra clean fuel is a giant leap forward in our combined efforts to improve California's air quality. All of the indications we have are that refiners and fuel providers in California are well positioned to meet the September 1 deadline,” said Cathy Reheis-Boyd, Chief Operating Officer of the Western States Petroleum Association.

Ultra-low sulfur diesel enables advanced pollution control technology for cars, trucks and buses. Truck owners will be able to purchase ultra low sulfur diesel and vehicles with clean diesel technology later this year. The agency expects a smooth transition and will closely monitor the industry as it transitions to ultra low sulfur diesel, making this historic milestone a reality that will benefit Americans' health and the environment.

By addressing diesel fuel and engines as a single system, this action will produce the clean air equivalent of eliminating air pollution from 90 percent -- or about 13 million -- of today's trucks and buses. Once fully implemented, ultra low sulfur diesel will result in the annual reduction of 2.6 million tons nitrogen oxides and 110,000 tons of particulate matter.

More information on EPA's clean diesel initiatives is at:

In keeping with its efforts to ensure smooth implementation, the EPA is a member of the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance, a stakeholder group dedicated to providing the public ULSD-related information. More information is at: