February 4, 2005 - 2 PM


Ernie Kline, North Penn, S.D.
Bill Campbell, Seasoned Energy
Lionel Gillston, Diesel Engine Transformation
Ken Brown, UPenn
Marianne Cleary, North Penn, S.D.
John Macaluso, International
Jack LeBeau, E Global Solutions
Hallie Weiss, AMS
Joe Malseed, Wissahickon S.D.
Perry Baer, Wissahickon S.D.
Bill Ross, Sprague Energy
Mark Ulrich, Cummins
Ed Carreras, SynerTec
Roger Leisenring, Sunoco
Bill Coughlin, Sunoco
Debbie McNeal, Sunoco
Arleen Shulman, PA DEP
Chris Trostle, PA DEP
Dale Krapf, Krapf Bus Co.
Phil Marotta, Philadelphia S.D.
Jonathan Evans, Cummins
Kirt Flowers, Amtrak
Brett Alkins, Johnson Matthey
Nathalie Shapiro, Phila. Clean Cities
Steve Albrink, U.S. EPA
Peg Hanna, NJ DEP


Ernie Kline provided a summary of North Penn's fuel pump failures. The fleet has experienced a total of 23 failures, 8 of them with General Motors engines and 15 with Cummins. Of the 15 Cummins, 7 were model year 2004 and 8 were 1990. The 1990 engines were the ones that experienced leak problems with Bosch seals. North Penn believes there is a potential for additional failures in 7 more buses based on these makes and model years. Sprague supplies the ULSD, using fuel produced by Sunoco mixed in with a Sprague additive. Eric observed that representatives from Cummins, Sunoco and Sprague were all part of the conference call.

Roger Leisenring mentioned that he is chair of the ASTM for diesel fuel. He worked with U.S. EPA and California in 1993, when failures with Cummins engines also took place as a result of diesel moving from 5,000 to 500 ppm sulfur content.

Marianne Cleary stated that there is no formal investigative group looking into North Penn's problems. Arleen Shulman said she hoped as EPA becomes more involved it can ultimately produce some type of preventative guidance for fleets in the future that want to avoid North Penn's troubles. But they will need technical information from what has already been done, such as fuel analysis.

Phil Marotta asked for clarification that North Penn used ULSD and not "low sulfur diesel," which is what Philadelphia School District is using.

Eric suggested the technical subcommittee become the investigative body on this matter.
Consequently, he requested that the members of this call meet together in person soon to address the ULSD fuel pump problem. Roger Leisenring said he would be willing to attend the next PDD Working Group meeting on February 14 to present the work he did in 1993 concerning fuel pump failures. Kirt Flowers will work with Eric to secure space at Amtrak's 30th Street in the next couple weeks for the technical subcommittee to meet.

In the meantime, Eric requested that all documents developed by the various parties who have been working on the ULSD fuel pump issue in North Penn be forwarded to him for redistribution to all members of the technical subcommittee. Such information includes fuel analyses performed by Sprague and Southwest Research, analysis done by Cummins and fleet lists from North Penn and Wissahickon. Steve Albrink of U.S. EPA assured everyone on the call that EPA is looking into the fuel pump failure problem and is concerned by it. Arleen noted that the EPA can use PDD and its network of technical experts to help with its own investigation. Eric recommended that he be the point person to contact for anyone wanting information concerning the North Penn fuel pump failures.

Bill Coughlin stressed that going forward the technical subcommittee needs to make sure it has a good set of data so that it can come up with reliable conclusions. Everybody agreed that the fuel pump failure issue needs to be resolved in advance of the mandatory ULSD rules that will take effect next year.

Peg Hanna from NJ DEP noted that NJ Transit may be experiencing similar fuel pump failure problems and is very interested in finding out what the technical sub-committee learns about North Penn to see if it is applicable in New Jersey.