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H.R. 6222 (112th): Clean Heating Oil Act of 2012

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 26, 2012 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 6222


July 26, 2012

(for herself and Mr. Larson of Connecticut) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To amend the Clean Air Act with respect to the sulfur fuel content of heating oil.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Clean Heating Oil Act of 2012.



The Congress finds the following:


The Energy Information Administration estimates that 3.93 billion gallons of heating oil were consumed in the United States in 2010, representing 7.2 percent of total demand for distillate oil in the United States.


Currently, the sulfur content of heating oil is the only chemical difference between heating oil and highway diesel fuel. However, the State of New York will require the same sulfur content for heating oil as onroad and offroad diesel fuel beginning on July 1, 2012.


Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has limited the sulfur content of highway and most nonroad diesel fuel to no more than 15 parts per million.


The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management estimates that heating oil represents 54 percent of total demand for heating oil and diesel fuel in the Northeast and is the second largest source of sulfur dioxide emissions.


The Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States exported 8.65 billion gallons of diesel fuel with a sulfur content of less than 15 parts per million in 2011.


The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in a 2008 report that reducing sulfur dioxide exposure yields numerous health benefits.


The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management estimates that reducing the sulfur content in heating oil will eliminate 167,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions, and provide substantial benefits to the health and well-being of the people of the United States.


The Environmental Protection Agency has authority under section 111 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7411) to limit the sulfur content of heating oil used in stationary sources.


The Brookhaven National Laboratory estimates that reducing the sulfur content of heating oil will improve overall heating system efficiency and longevity, and save as much as $200 million per year in system maintenance costs.


Sulfur content of heating oil



Part A of title I of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:


Sulfur content of heating oil


Heating oil defined

In this section, the term heating oil means any number 1 distillate, number 2 dyed distillate, or non-petroleum diesel blend that—


is sold for use in furnaces, boilers, stationary diesel engines, or similar applications; and


is commonly or commercially known or sold as heating oil or fuel oil or using a similar trade name.




In general

Effective June 1, 2016, no person shall manufacture, sell, supply, offer for sale or supply, dispense, transport, or introduce into commerce heating oil which contains a concentration of sulfur in excess of—


15 parts per million; or


a lesser concentration established under subsection (c).


Early use credits


In general

The Administrator may, by regulation, provide for the issuance of credits to refiners and importers for amounts of heating oil manufactured or imported before June 1, 2016, in accordance with the limitation described in paragraph (1).


Use; transfer

Any regulations promulgated under subparagraph (A) shall provide that a refiner or importer who is issued credits may use such credits, or transfer all or a portion of such credits to another refiner or importer for use, for the purpose of complying with this subsection.



Any credit issued under this paragraph shall expire on June 1, 2019, and may not be used to comply with this subsection on or after such date.


Authority To require lesser concentration



Subject to paragraph (2), the Administrator may by regulation reduce the concentration of sulfur in heating oil permissible under subsection (b) to the extent necessary to ensure that such concentration is not reasonably anticipated to endanger the public health or welfare.



Paragraph (1) does not authorize the Administrator to reduce the concentration of sulfur in heating oil permissible under subsection (b) to any concentration lower than the concentration of sulfur in diesel fuel permissible under section 211.


Waiver authority


In general

The Administrator may temporarily waive the requirements of this section in whole or in part if, after consultation with, and concurrence by, the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator determines that, with respect to heating oil, the criteria listed in subclauses (I) through (III) of section 211(c)(4)(C)(ii) are met.


Limitation and requirements

Any waiver under paragraph (1) shall be subject to the limitations and requirements applicable to waivers under subclauses (I) through (V) of section 211(c)(4)(C)(iii). For purposes of the preceding sentence, the reference in section 211(c)(4)(C)(iii)(IV) to the motor fuel distribution system is deemed to refer to the heating oil distribution system.


Heating oil manufactured by small refineries

The Administrator may waive one or more requirements of this section with respect to any heating oil manufactured by a small refinery (as defined in section 211(o)(1)(K)). The period of a waiver under this subsection shall terminate not later than June 1, 2019.


Penalties and injunctions

The provisions of section 211(d) shall apply to a violation of this section or the regulations thereunder to the same extent and in the same manner as such provisions apply to a violation of section 211(i) or the regulations thereunder.




Not later than 24 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall issue a final regulation to implement and enforce section 132 of the Clean Air Act, as added by subsection (a).