Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Use of Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel on Guam

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Guam – Senator Telo Taitague’s bill requiring the use of  ultra low sulfur diesel on Guam passed unanimously during Monday afternoon’s brief Legislative Session.

Bill 414 would make the use of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) the legal standard for diesel fuel on island.

According to the Senator’s release, diesel fuel imported to Guam has a sulfur content between 3000 and 5000 ppm. When the requirement takes into effect in January 2011, only ULSD fuel can be imported. This shift occurred in the US more than 4 years ago.

If signed by the Governor island fuel suppliers would no longer be able to import diesel fuel that does not meet US EPA standards for ULSD. This standard is defined as fuels that contain less than 15 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur content as established by the US EPA Direct Final Rule.

Currently, private businesses and government agencies are unable to purchase newer diesel-powered vehicles because they require the use of ULSD. Using the diesel fuel that is currently available on island will damage the engines and void the warranties of such vehicles/engines.

In a release, Senator Taitague states that: “I am also very hopeful the passage of this bill will bring positive impacts to our economy. If we don’t have ULSD on Guam, our island will be forced to use diesel vehicles made before 2007. This will prohibit private businesses, especially those in the transportation and construction industry, from vying for military buildup related contracts that require the use of ULSD. Local government agencies like GMH, DPW, GPA, and DOE would also be affected as they will now be able to upgrade their fleets of diesel-powered vehicles which may include school buses, ambulances and large trucks.”

The release also quotes Taitague as saying that: “The impact to our environment will be monumental, especially in terms of improving air quality. Requiring ULSD will significantly reduce the sooty black smoke that is emitted from buses and other large vehicles that utilize diesel fuel.”