NPRA panel members urge thorough review of issues surrounding highway diesel fuel
Aug 1, 2002 12:00 PM
Members of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) who serve on the Clean Diesel Independent Review Panel have called on the panel to conduct a thorough, science-based review of the technological and practical implementation issues for highway diesel fuel.
Panel members, working with the American Petroleum Institute and Association of Oil Pipe Lines, filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the agency's Highway Diesel Progress Review.
One Review area cited by panel members is fuel sulfur detection and testing methodology. Refiners worry that the EPA-approved sulfur test method falls short of required levels of precision and want a more precise test method designated. In-line sulfur test technology for pipelines is needed. Monitoring sulfur content of product in a flowing line has not been necessary previously, and fast, accurate field equipment is not available.
Panel members pointed out gaps in the information petroleum refiners must have in order to implement the highway rule at the lowest cost to consumers. These gaps include non-road diesel sulfur requirements. Sulfur levels and compliance dates for non-road diesel are necessary to make informed decisions. Panel members said the appropriate sulfur levels and targeted compliance dates for non-road diesel fuel must be established employing valid criteria including actual need, the interrelationship with other fuel parameters and regulations, and total impact on supply and price in the marketplace. Concerns regarding the sulfur credit trading system also were raised.
Finally, panel members said future progress reports must verify that volumes of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and low-sulfur diesel reaching truckstops and other fueling facilities match current volumes plus anticipated growth in highway diesel demand. Steps that EPA should take concerning the supply issues are:
Look at the entire diesel pool, not just highway diesel.
Understand that planning for compliance may include shutting down refineries or abandoning the highway diesel market.
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