Industry urges EPA to take second look at marine, train diesel rules

By OGJ editors
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 2 -- Industry trade associations representing most, although not all refiners, want the US Environmental Protection Agency to rethink an EPA draft plan to limit the sulfur content of locomotive and marine diesel to 15 ppm in 2010.

"Our industry has an obligation to consumers and the nation to oppose changes that would needlessly add to supply volatility and economic stress," the American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday. "For this reason, we have raised concerns that the second stage of reductions in diesel fuel sulfur for farm and construction equipment being considered for 2010 not be extended to the locomotive and marine market until those engines are also required to use such advanced after-treatment devices."

EPA is expected to release a final nonroad diesel rule aimed at farm and construction equipment this month; a separate rulemaking still must occur for train and boat fuel.

API and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association stressed that they still support what they called "dramatic reductions" in diesel fuel sulfur for farm and construction equipment to 15 ppm. "NPRA continues to support the agency's proposal that would employ a phased, two-step approach of nonroad diesel sulfur limits beginning in 2007 that will reduce sulfur levels by 90%, with final reductions in 2010 for construction and farm equipment," said NPRA Pres. Bob Slaughter.

"The implementation date for nonroad diesel fuel should be set so as to have the least impact on implementation of the highway diesel fuel regulation and place the least strain on the suppliers and distributors of diesel fuel. EPA's proposal represents the absolute earliest date that refiners can possibly comply," he added.

Environmental groups and local air quality officials are urging EPA, in the name of public health, to preserve the 2010 timeframe for marine and train fuel.

"High air pollution recently monitored at train stations shows that taking a train may be hazardous to your health," said Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Trust. "We need to clean up train fuel immediately to start bringing pollution levels down. The oil companies once again are crying wolf."

Similarly, local air quality officials see the nonroad diesel rule as an important tool to toward achieving federal air quality standards.

"EPA has a huge opportunity to develop a very good nonroad rule; the states' measure of EPA's success will be whether the agency sets a 15 ppm fuels requirement on locomotive and marine engines by 2010, and commits to a rulemaking to set engine standards soon thereafter," said Bill Becker of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators/Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials.

But industry rejects the argument that extending the locomotive and marine rule beyond 2010 would have much of an impact on mobile source pollution.

"States must be in compliance with NAAQS [National Ambient Air Quality Standards] by 2007. We find it difficult to understand how implementation of a 15 ppm requirement for locomotive and marine diesel fuel in 2010 will assist them in this effort," Slaughter said.

Gasoline sulfur program
In a related action, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called on the White House Mar. 24 to have EPA fine-tune the current gasoline sulfur regulation to ease price pressures on consumers.

Bingaman noted that over the next 2 years, gasoline sulfur levels will drop to 30 ppm from today's 120 ppm. The current rule rewards companies that achieve early reductions in their operations' baseline level of sulfur to generate sulfur credits for use in 2005. An additional level of special credits called "allotments" reward companies that made significant capital investments in low sulfur fuels.

Bingaman argued the rule does not have a reliable system for independent fuel importers to participate if markets are tight and the number of allotments they need to buy (to stay in compliance) are not available.

"I recommend that the administration revise this rule to allow independent importers to carry a small deficit balance in case they are unable to buy enough allotments," he said.

"By doing so, we will facilitate the ability to move more gasoline that is currently on the world market to US consumers this summer, without compromising environmental protections," he suggested.

He further said that if unexpected significant refinery or pipeline disruptions occur, or if gasoline prices rise to levels that cause significant economic harm, that EPA be prepared to issue an emergency rule allowing the use of the sulfur credits for 2005 in this year instead.

"This additional flexibility in the use of sulfur credits would not result in any greater emission of sulfur dioxide over the 2-year period of 2004-05, but would add to the ability to bring more gasoline into the United States so that consumers are not paying more than they should."

Neither EPA nor the White House has responded yet to Bingaman's suggestion although the agency has been considering a similar request from some refiners over the past 2 months.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

SIBUR plans MTBE expansion at Togliattikauchuk

07/01/2015 Russian conglomerate OAO SIBUR Holding, Moscow, has started preparatory work for a project designed to expand production capacity for methyl tertia...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected