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July 20, 1993 (916) 322-2990
ARB Approves ARCO's Clean Diesel Formula
SACRAMENTO - In another move to reduce diesel soot and urban smog, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved two blends of clean burning diesel fuel developed by ARCO that meet the Board's tighter clean-up standards that take effect on October 1, 1993.
The approvals make ARCO the third refiner, following Chevron and Texaco, to have a unique fuel formula certified for sale in California which differs from the specifications adopted by the ARB in 1988. Each of those refiners chose to take advantage of a flexible option in the Board's rules, which allow refiners to develop their own diesel blends provided they are as effective in reducing emissions as ARB's "recipe" for cleaner diesel fuel.
"We adopted a clean diesel fuel recipe to reduce public exposure to pollution and to continue our policy of requiring cleaner fuels of all types," said ARB chairwoman Jananne Sharpless. "We also wanted to be flexible, so we gave the oil companies an option of producing their own formulas, provided they were as clean-burning as ours and now ARCO has become the third oil company to take advantage of that option."
Although the ARB already requires the nation's cleanest-burning diesel fuel, the new standards -- and the formulas approved by the Board -- are expected to reduce soot-like emissions from existing diesel trucks and buses by at least 17 percent, as well as clean-burning as help manufacturers meet ARB tailpipe standards that require "sootless" new engines for 1993 models.
The ARB's new diesel fuel formula requires refiners t o cut the fuel's sulphur content to .05 percent, an average reduction of about 80 percent from levels in today's fuels, to reduce soot-like emissions. Another key specification requires an average 66 percent reduction in "aromatic" hydrocarbons, a key to reducing nitrogen oxides, a component of urban smog and also a source of small, inhalable particles. The new standards also are responsible for reductions in benzene and other highly toxic compounds that are a part of diesel exhaust.
ARB chairwoman Jananne Sharpless emphasized the value of cleaner diesel fuel, saying "it will immediately reduce emissions from all buses and trucks on the road, reducing soot-like particles, which are a source of long-term health damage and also a number one cause of public complaints."
Sharpless also noted that ARCO's action further insures that there will be no disruption in diesel fuel supplies when the new standards take effect on October 1. "We are particularly pleased that ARCO has produced another clean diesel fuel to help supply California's market. Combines with cleaner blends already certified by Chevron and Texaco -- and the assurances of other oil companies that they are working to produce diesel fuel according to ARB specifications -- we are now confident that there will be an adequate supply of diesel fuel available to satisfy the needs of all of the state's diesel users this fall."
ARCO becomes the sixth supplier of California diesel fuel to guarantee its continuation in the California market after the October 1, 1993 deadline.
In addition to the ARB's requirements for cleaner diesel fuel, the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also is calling for sharp reductions in the sulphur content, at an estimated cost of two to five cents per gallon.
The ARB has estimated the cost of its rule -- which reduces more pollution -- at about six cents per gallon. Since oil companies are producing their own, unique blends, which allow them to gain maximum use of their individual refining capabilities, ARB officials have been able to reduce their original estimate of about 12 cents per gallon.
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