Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), the single most far-reaching environmental and public health achievement since lead was removed from gasoline, will be available for consumers at the pump beginning Oct. 15. This clean-burning fuel has 97 percent less sulfur and will deliver billions of dollars in environmental and public health benefits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The availability of cleaner-burning diesel at the pump will allow for the use of new pollution control technology in cars, trucks and buses. The Bush Administration's clean diesel rules are addressing diesel fuels and engines as a single system that will reduce air pollution from diesel engines by more than 90 percent -- or about 13 million -- of today's trucks and buses, according to the EPA. Once fully implemented, ULSD will result in the annual reduction of 2.6 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 110,000 tons of particulate matter.
This new fuel will help to open up markets to clean diesel passenger cars, pickup trucks and delivery vehicles that are 30 percent more efficient than current fleets with similar reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to the fuel economy and carbon emission benefits, a new fleet of clean diesel vehicles will have lower maintenance costs, longer engine life and typically lower fuel costs.
On June 1, refiners and fuel importers were required to start producing ULSD, which contains 15 ppm sulfur, down from 500 ppm. The rollout of clean diesel fuel is smart environmental and fiscal policy. When fully applied, clean diesel fuels and engines will result in more than $70 billion annually in environmental and public health benefits at a fraction of the cost ($4 billion per year). Expanded use of ULSD also will enhance energy security since diesels tend to be more fuel efficient than gasoline engines.
For more information on the EPA's clean diesel programs, visit http://www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel .
The EPA is a member of the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance, a stakeholder group dedicated to providing the public ULSD-related information. For more information on the alliance, visit www.clean-diesel.org.