Second Trade Group Sues EPA Over Diesel Fuel Rule

The American Petroleum Institute Monday became the second\r\ntrade group to sue EPA over controversial low sulfur diesel\r\nrules.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) Monday became the second trade group to sue EPA over controversial low sulfur diesel rules.

API asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn EPA''s rule two weeks after the Bush Administration said it planned to carry out the plan, which was finalized in the last two weeks of the Clinton Administration.

Last month, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) filed a lawsuit, saying it believed that "the Clinton Administration failed in its duty to fashion a rule that balances energy supply concerns with environmental objectives."

API also wrote EPA Administrator Christie Whitman urging her to reconsider her action.

"As promulgated, this rule will significantly impact refiners and consumers," API President Red Cavaney wrote in the letter. "To make this important rule a success we urge EPA to consider changes that will reduce inordinate costs and lessen the serious potential for supply shortfalls."

Both lawsuits will likely be combined and considered together by the court.

Both NPRA and API said the EPA standard of 15 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur in diesel by 2006 is not a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution.

Environmental groups argue health risks associated with diesel fuel emissions justify the cost and that industry has a long lead time to adjust to the new standard.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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