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Oil Majors Push for Early Deadline on Diesel Pump Labeling

GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- Although federal regulations don't compel it, some major oil companies are getting out of the gate early and requiring marketers to change their diesel pump labels as of June 1, according to a report by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won't enforce new pump labeling changes downstream until Oct. 1 to Dec. 1, but both ExxonMobil and BP have told their marketers they want the new labels for 15 ppm diesel to be in place by the first of June.

"The new label must be displayed on all ULSD dispensers from June 1, 2010, onward, and the old label removed," ExxonMobil said in letter to its branded marketers. ExxonMobil already replaced on-road ULSD labels at its company- and dealer-operated c-stores.

BP will produce only 15 ppm on-road and off-road diesel beginning June 1, and told marketers they must add the associated labels at all sites they operate or supply.

Valero is recommending, but not requiring, its marketers to change over labels on June 1 even though the company noted that the old labels are acceptable through late fall. Failure to label dispensers properly may result in fines starting at $500 per dispenser per day, the company warned in a letter to customers.

CITGO told its customers that although they can place the new labels on the pumps as early as June 1, they must affix them to dispensers by Dec. 1, or upon first receipt of the identified product, according to the OPIS report.

The four decals that must be attached to diesel pumps are for labeling pumps dispensing ULSD Highway fuel (15 ppm); ULSD non-highway fuel (15 ppm); LS non-highway fuel (500 ppm); and LS Locomotive and Marine Diesel Fuel (500 ppm).

The latest set of diesel regulations requires that refiners and importers produce and import only 15 ppm non-road diesel in the Northeast Mid-Atlantic area (NEMA) beginning June 1. Outside of the NEMA, 500 ppm off-road diesel is allowed.

Terminals have until Aug. 1, to change over to the new fuels required in their area, wholesale purchaser consumers by Oct. 1, and end users by Dec. 1.

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