The deadline for refiners to begin the switch to ultra low
sulfur diesel hit Thursday, June 1.
That means that refiners and importers must ensure that at
least 80 percent of the volume of highway diesel they produce is ultra
low-sulfur diesel. In California, refiners must be producing 100 percent ULSD.
But don’t go looking for it at the pump just yet. Refiners
are not required to start ULSD flowing downstream through pipelines to distributors,
marketers, terminals and transporters until Sept. 1.
The deadline for retail roll-out is Oct. 15, but the new
fuel could show up at some retail outlets before then as the distribution
system is tested and supplies begin to move forward.
According to the EPA, although ULSD will be the dominant
fuel produced by the end of this year, refiners, terminals and retailers are
not required to carry it until 2010. Therefore, it might not be immediately
available at every retail outlet.
By 2010, all highway diesel in the U.S. is scheduled to be ULSD.