Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
August 2006
Comm 48 Being Updated

The Department of Commerce's Chapter Comm 48 on Petroleum Products is being updated. In 2003 Comm 48 began the practice of adopting American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards by reference, from which former editions had always obtained their specifications over previous decades.

Since there is always continuing work within the ASTM structure to keep the documents current, this allows Comm 48 to adopt more recent editions on specifications for fuel oils, aviation gasolines, diesel fuel, kerosine, automobile gasoline, unleaded aviation gasoline and biodiesel. The ASTM Standards for aviation turbine fuel, denatured ethanol (used for gasoline blending), and E85 will be added with this new edition of Comm 48.

There are several editorial changes having to do with operational procedures that had remained from a previous era. These include the times of inspections at port-of-entry labs, issuing of Certificates in collecting inspection fees (procedures which were removed from the program in 1995), and a couple of editorial changes to improve interpretation on the intent of the code.

The code has added the requirement that octane information be associated with the delivery ticket, as has long been required by FTC 16CFR 306. More detailed language prohibiting mixing of lower grade product (N-l) with higher grade product (Pn-l) has been included. While not a large problem, the added language will provide more information for analyzing inventories against deliveries when conducting investigations.

The department has octane analysis capability, but does not have octane engines. There is added language which will allow for department reimbursement should octane testing be required in cases that an investigation reveals that samples need to be sent out to a private lab for actual motor tests.

Because the Federal EPA ULSD program is in its infancy, which has multiple specification changes for multiple types of sources-transitioning over multiple years all the way until 2010, this edition of Comm. 48 will not include the EPA requirements that transition from the current low sulfur highway diesel fuel (500ppm) to an ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (15ppm). The EPA program will ultimately result in the elimination of off-road diesel fuel/heating oil (5000ppm) and replace it with current low sulfur fuel, while transitioning on-road diesel to ultra low.

One of the reasons for not including the sulfur reduction is this is a Federal program. Also, so much of the transition is regulating the producer vs. the individual source. Customers are beginning and will continue to see labeling notification evolve at the dispenser as this important environmental program is implemented. It is really just an extension of an effort that has been going on for decades as environmental impacts and refining technology and capabilities become more sophisticated.

-- Berni Mattsson

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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