Breaking News on Diesel!

Submitted by Waiting for Carnot on Fri, 03/31/2006 - 23:59.

The EPA will rule by June 12th on whether diesel fuel is a hazardous air pollutant. On that day, check the price at the pump. Hopefully, that pump will be a biodiesel blend like E.55th and Payne.

Greenwire, 15 February 2006 - EPA agreed yesterday to determine by summer whether diesel exhaust should be classified as a "hazardous air pollutant" -- a decision long sought by environmental groups.

The decision -- required under a consent decree agreement reached yesterday between EPA and the advocacy group Environmental Defense -- must be made by June 12. The agreement does not bind the agency to a particular decision.

The agreement allows EPA to delay the decision by no more than 60 days provided it has the consent of Environmental Defense. If the agency decides to classify diesel exhaust as a hazardous pollutant, it must issue the final notice by May 1, 2007.

Environmental Defense petitioned EPA to act on the diesel exhaust designation in August 2003. When the agency failed to act on the petition within the required 18 months, and the group filed legal action against the agency.

Although EPA has already taken several steps in recent years to limit diesel exhaust, listing it as a hazardous air pollutant may require the agency to take additional action to curb emissions.

Environmentalists have largely praised EPA's efforts to implement emissions regulations for new diesel engines, but at the same time have criticized the agency for not moving aggressively enough for retrofitting of older engines or adopting regulations on ships and trains.

At the same time, industry groups have fought the potential designation of diesel exhaust as a hazardous pollutant, arguing in court that it would stigmatize the trucking industry.

This article is reproduced with kind permission of E&E Publishing, LLC.

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 Note: The American Trucking Association(ATA) has endorsed B5 (5% biodiesel in petrodiesel) as a starting point for the industry.