Feds extend waiver on red diesel; not all states participating

| 9/19/2005

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service have extended their wavers on red dyed, high-sulfur diesel through Oct. 5.

The EPA move allows retailers in all 50 states to sell diesel that exceeds 500 ppm sulfur content. In conjunction with that, the IRS lifted penalties on red diesel.

This means that diesel fuel normally used for off-road vehicles can be used by commercial truckers without fear of being penalized at the federal level, as long as normal diesel taxes have been paid on that fuel.

Ordinarily red diesel fuel is not taxed, but if a commercial vehicle is caught using it on the highway, the penalties can be pretty stiff. The IRS has extended the suspension of those penalties through Oct. 5.

However, these waivers are only at the federal level. State and local penalties for using red diesel may still apply. Drivers should check with authorities in a given state if they are unsure.

States that have temporarily waived the restrictions on red dye fuel are: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.