NATSO, a national trade association representing U.S. truckstops and travel plazas, is praising the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee for passing an amendment that will eliminate the phase-in provision of EPA’s low-sulfur diesel rule.

The amendment to H.R. 1891, which was introduced in May at the request of NATSO and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), was attached to the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act of 2001, and is scheduled to be considered next week by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

NATSO said the approved amendment will help prevent diesel-fuel supply disruptions and price spikes, and at the same time benefit the environment and health of all Americans by eliminating the EPA low-sulfur diesel fuel phase-in provision, thereby getting the new, cleaner-burning diesel fuel on the market at one time in 2006.

“The passage of this amendment marks a major legislative victory for the travel plaza and truckstop industry in its efforts to repeal the phase-in provision,” said NATSO president W. Dewey Clower. “Much work still needs to be done before this legislation can be signed into law.”

Without the amendment, the EPA’s provision for the phase-in of low-sulfur diesel fuel would force truckstop owners and retail petroleum businesses to make major capital investments to be able to store two different types of fuel – merely to have that investment lost entirely when only the new fuel is on the market. For example, a truckstop would need to purchase and install additional storage tanks in order to prevent fuel cross-contamination, which could cost many operators well over $100,000 per facility, NATSO said.