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Ultra low sulfur diesel fuel for trucks and buses

2006 -- In an effort that promises to drastically improve local air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires refiners and fuel importers to cut the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel 97 percent, from 500 parts per million to 15.

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel

When fully implemented, EPA’s new ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements and new highway diesel engine standards will also prevent nearly 8,300 premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.

At a demonstration held at an area truck stop, the EPA was joined by representatives from California Air Resources Board, Western States Petroleum Association and International Truck and Engine Corporation to announce the new fuel.

"By drastically cutting the emissions that cause soot and smog, EPA is delivering the American people cleaner engines, cleaner air and cleaner lungs, without affecting our productivity and economic might,” said Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator, EPA, Region 9, Pacific and Southwest.

Ultra low sulfur diesel fuel enables advanced pollution control technology for trucks and buses. Consumers will be able to purchase ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and vehicles with clean diesel technology later this year, which will produce the clean air equivalent of eliminating air pollution from 90 percent -- or about 13 million -- of today's trucks and buses.

Roll Out of Ultra Low Diesel Fuel

For California, implementation of ultra low sulfur highway diesel fuel will be complete this fall; nationally, by late 2007. When combined with full implementation of the new highway diesel engine technology by 2030, this 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:

How important is diesel pollution to our health?

Children breathe 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults. Diesel exhaust ranks among the air pollutants that EPA believes pose the greatest public health risks.

Diesel exhaust from idling school buses can accumulate on and around the bus and pose a health risk, particularly to children. When buses idle in the school yard, the exhaust also can pollute the air inside the school building and pose a health risk to children throughout the day. Exposure to diesel exhaust can cause lung damage and respiratory problems. Diesel exhaust also exacerbates asthma and existing allergies, and long-term exposure is thought to increase the risk of lung cancer. However, there are some simple steps that schools can take to reduce idling time and air pollution.