On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waived certain requirements of the Clean Air Act to allow the sale, distribution, and use in Puerto Rico of high sulfur heating oil and marine fuel designated for use in Emission Control Areas (ECA marine fuel) for emergency generators and pumps, in view of the damages caused by Hurricane Maria and the limitations to obtain Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) meeting the 15 parts per million (ppm) standard set forth at 40 C.F.R. § 80.51 O(c)(l). This waiver continued through October 15, 2017.
On October 11, 2017, EPA issued a second waiver to allow parties in Puerto Rico to sell, distribute and use heating oil and ECA marine fuel that exceeds the 15 ppm standard effective immediately and until October 30, 2017 (October 11 Waiver). The October 11 Waiver is limited and available under the following conditions:
- The non-ULSD fuel is used in a model year 2010 or older mobile non-road diesel generator or pump, or any model year mobile non-road diesel generator or pump above 750 horsepower that is being used for emergency purposes.
- ULSD fuel is not reasonably available for use in the mobile non-road diesel generator or pump.
- The non-ULSD fuel is not used in any model year mobile non-road diesel generator or pump that has been retrofitted with diesel pai1iculate filter technology.
- The non-ULSD fuel used under this waiver remains segregated from ULSD fuel until the ULSD fuel is used in the mobile non-road generator or pump.
In the October 11 Waiver, EPA encourages engine owners and operators to contact the engine manufacturers or distributors to determine if any special maintenance practices should be adopted while operating on high sulfur fuel (e.g., a shortened oil change interval).