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CTA wants ULSD to be available for testing

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says the industry must have widespread access to ultra low sul...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) says the industry must have widespread access to ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) before it is mandated.

The new 2007 truck engines require ULSD to function properly, however the new fuel is not yet widely available. The ULSD is 15 ppm (parts per million) sulphur compared to today’s diesel which is about 500 ppm sulphur.

CTA vice-president of economics, Stephen Laskowski, has submitted a written response to Environment Canada’s call for comments on two proposed amendments to the Sulphur in Diesel Regulations recently put forward by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI). The new regulations were scheduled for implementation by next fall.

The CPPI is suggesting two amendments are put into place to stay in line with the regulations south of the border. They include shifting the retail compliance date for meeting the new ULSD standard by 45 days (from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, 2006) and allowing on-road diesel fuel with a 22 ppm rating to be marketed until Oct. 15, 2006.

"CTA recognizes the need to ensure truck engine and fuel regulations remain harmonized as much as possible with U.S. EPA standards. As such should the EPA implement these above amendments CTA has no objection to the proposed amendments put foreword by CPPI. However, CTA does believe CPPI and Environment Canada must begin working with the Alliance in examining and resolving two issues associated with the introduction of ULSD, firstly, pre-October 15, 2006 availability of ULSD and secondly, lubricity issues associated with ULSD," Laskowski pointed out.

He added: "As you are aware, the 2007 model trucks can only run on ULSD. This road testing phase is of critical importance to the engine makers in collecting needed data on the emission and engine performance characteristics of the 2007 engines and the corresponding impacts of ULSD on their product. This road testing phase will allow the engine makers to address any concerns associated with ULSD, such as lubricity, with CPPI before the 2007 trucks hit the marketplace."

The CTA is concerned the lack of availability of ULSD will make it difficult for fleets to identify potential pitfalls ahead of time. When 500 ppm diesel was introduced in 1995, fleets found there were lubricity problems associated with it.

"CTA does not want members facing increased maintenance and fuel efficiency costs associated with ULSD that could have been avoided if proper research and cooperation took place prior to 2007," says Laskowski.

The CTA is asking Environment Canada to force CPPI members to make ULSD available for testing on 2007 prototype engines. It also wants the government to ensure ULSD will be the only type of fuel available in Canada as of Oct. 15, 2006 (with the exception of some remote northern communities which will be exempt).

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