EPA waives Texas-specific diesel requirement

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 16 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency temporarily waived certain diesel fuel requirements that apply only in the state of Texas following fuel supply disruptions caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Responding to a state request, EPA will allow the suspension of the Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED) requirements until Sept. 30, but federal regulations for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel having maximum sulfur content of 15 ppm still must be met.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said the goal of the TxLED rule is to lower emissions of NOx and other pollutants from diesel motor vehicles and nonroad equipment. TxLED is part of the Texas federally approved State Implementation Plan that was implemented in 2005.

The rule covers 110 counties in the eastern half of Texas, including the ozone nonattainment areas of Beaumont-Port Arthur, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist that are likely to result in a shortage of diesel compliant with TxLED requirements.

In coordination with the US Department Energy, EPA granted the waiver to allow greater flexibility for fuel distribution systems.

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