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June 1 Marks Historic Milestone in Clean Diesel

Release Date: 06/01/2006
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 / millett.john@epa.gov

(Washington, DC – June 1, 2006) Starting today, EPA will require refiners and fuel importers to cut the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel 97 percent, from 500 parts per million to 15. The rules are issued in line with the Bush Administration's promotion of renewable energy sources and cleaner fuels, such as Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). When fully implemented, today's action will not only enhance environmental protection, but will also prevent nearly 8,300 premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.

"America is breathing easier due to President Bush's historic investment in clean energy," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Drastically cutting the emissions that cause soot and smog, EPA is delivering the American people cleaner engines, cleaner air and cleaner lungs."

ULSD enables advanced pollution control technology for cars, trucks and buses. Consumers will be able to purchase ULSD 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 ULSD 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, ULSD 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: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/highway-diesel/index.htm

In keeping with its efforts to ensure smooth implementation, 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: http://www.clean-diesel.org