Non-Road Diesel

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Nonroad, Locomotive and Marine Diesel Rule

An overview of the requirements for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area

The Nonroad Diesel Rule, a pivotal component of the EPA’s comprehensive initiatives addressing ozone, emissions, and fine particulate matter (PM) from off-road diesel equipment, encompasses a broad spectrum of applications. These range from construction equipment like backhoes, agricultural machinery such as tractors, to material handling equipment like heavy forklifts – vital for industries requiring precision and efficiency in logistics. Ensuring compliance with regulations such as forklift certification from is essential for maintaining safety standards and environmental responsibility in these diverse sectors.

While this issue has been tracked by individual marketers and dealers and most associations serving the industry, the New England Fuel Institute has taken a leadership role on clarifying the issue and developing a compliance kit (free to members). The kit can be ordered from NEFI at the following link:

The requirements have led to some confusion in the industry, and even at the EPA. Shortly before the first phase of the regulation was scheduled to take effect, Ed Burke, chairman of Dennis K. Burke, Inc. (Chelsea, Mass.) and member of the New England Fuel Institute’s Board of Directors discovered a major contradiction in the rule that has been subsequently addressed by the EPA.

The following is a synopsis of the rule developed through materials provided by Dennis K Burke, Inc., NEFI and the U.S. EPA’New England�and covers some of the specific requirements for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania (except specific counties), New York (except specific counties), Washington D.C. and the eight eastern-most counties of West Virginia.

This synopsis is far from exhaustive, and the rule should be studied in detail (with the compliance kit as a core resource) if you supply fuel in these markets. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a fine of up to $32,500 per day, per violation.

NRLM compliance dates
Beginning June 1, refiners began producing NRLM (Nonroad Locomotive and Marine), the low sulfur (500 ppm) diesel fuel for nonroad diesel engines. Diesel with greater than 500 ppm sulfur will continue to work in all NRLM applications.

Petroleum marketers must also comply with newly required fuel dispenser decals and new language on all product transfer documents (including shipping papers, bills of lading, and delivery tickets) by June 1.
Petroleum marketers may continue to sell, deliver and dispense high sulfur (500-ppm or less) diesel for non-road (or off-highway) use until October 1, 2007. After that time, all diesel fuel delivered for off-road use must be low sulfur or ultra-low sulfur.

On October 1, heating oil marketers will no longer be permitted to sell, deliver or dispense heating oil if it is high sulfur (greater than 500-ppm) for use in any diesel powered engine. Heating oil that is low sulfur (500-ppm or less) may be sold, delivered or dispensed as dyed diesel fuel so long as the marketer identifies it as 500-ppm dyed diesel fuel in accordance with EPA regulations.

Additional dates of interest include the terminal conversion date of August 1, 2007 and the end user/in use date of December 1, 2007.

Heating Oil
Heating oil sulfur is regulated by individual states and typically allow for a higher sulfur content (Massachusetts is .33 percent). Heating oil specifications remain unchanged, but the rule does require refiners to designate heating oil as such, and it cannot be used as NRLM. Heating oil inside the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area remains dyed red (typically dyed at rack), while heating oil outside the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area must contain marker solvent yellow. Heating oil with yellow marker can also be used in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area.

Any high-sulfur heating oil dispensed at a pump must use the “High Sulfur Non-Highway Diesel” dispenser decal from June 1, 2007 until October 1, 2007, after which time the dispenser must be labeled with the “Low Sulfur Non-Highway Diesel,” “Ultra-Low Sulfur Non-Highway Diesel” or “Heating Oil (may exceed 500 ppm sulfur)” labels, as appropriate. These labels are available through NEFI (see contact information below) and sample labels can be found at the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance Web site (

Labeling requirements include block letters of no less than 24-point bold type printed in a color contrasting with the background. Labels shall be on the upper two-thirds of the pump in a location where they are clearly visible.

This regulation applies to any dispenser at a retail site, commercial site or for a company’s own use. Labeling requirements do not apply to mobile refuelers/wet hosers although they must take appropriate measures to prevent misfueling.

The EPA may also require new decals on dispensers of kerosene used in nonroad applications.

Product Transfer Documents For Heating Oil
In addition to the dyed diesel fuel and heating oil descriptors already required on all product transfer documents (PTDs) as of June 1, 2007 (including shipping papers, bills of lading, and delivery tickets to the end consumer), the EPA has announced another descriptor required on all PTDs for high sulfur (greater than 500-ppm) heating oil sold, delivered or dispensed for use in nonroad diesel engines between June 1, 2007 and October 1, 2007: “HS Dyed NRLM-may exceed 500-ppm sulfur. Not for use in nonroad engines requiring ULSD or highway engines.”

The EPA is also making kerosene subject to the NRLM diesel fuel regulations. That means that product transfer documents for kerosene must use the new Dyed Diesel Fuel PTD language, with “kerosene” substituting the word “diesel fuel,” and the designation “ULSK” and “LSK” substituting “ULSD” and “LSD.” For example: “15-ppm sulfur dyed ULSK. Nonroad or tax exempt use only.” Or “500-ppm sulfur dyed LSK. Nonroad or tax exempt use only. Not for use in 2007 and later vehicles.”

Appropriate Fuel Use in Stationary Diesel Engines
The EPA has clarified appropriate fuel use in stationary diesel engines (emergency generators, snowmaking equipment, etc.). Beginning October 1, 2007 all stationary engines manufactured, remanufactured or modified on or after April 1, 2006 may only use NRLM diesel fuel with a sulfur content of 500-ppm or less. Stationary engines manufactured, remanufactured or modified before April 1, 2006 may continue to use heating oil with a sulfur content greater than 500-ppm.

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