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EPA Slashes Sulfur Content of Diesel Fuel for Trains, Ships, and Nonroad Equipment


Harmful emissions from locomotives, most marine vessels, and land-based nonroad engines will be cut starting June 1 because of new standards for sulfur content in diesel fuel.

Under a 2004 clean-air regulation established by EPA, refineries must reduce sulfur from current levels of about 3,000 parts per million in nonroad diesel fuel to a maximum of 500 ppm, with few exceptions.

This is the latest step in EPA’s campaign to clean up diesel fuel used in the United States. Last June, rules took effect requiring 80 percent of highway diesel to have an ultra-low sulfur level of 15 or fewer ppm.

In 2010, sulfur levels in most nonroad diesel fuel will be reduced to the same ultra-low requirement, making it possible for engine manufacturers to use advanced emissions control systems that significantly reduce harmful pollutants. For locomotive and marine fuel, this step will occur in 2012.


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