EPA Wants to Clean Up Large Ocean-Going Ships

Canada Could Also Adopt an Harmonized Regulation
In a similar vein to what California is doing with ocean-going ships, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new set of rules under the Clean Air Act that would require all U.S. flagged ocean-going vessels to meet stricter diesel engine and fuel standards, leading to cleaner air along the coasts of the US (and Canada, who's also working on a similar regulation).
So What Kind of Improvement are We Talking About?
"When fully implemented, the coordinated effort would reduce NOx emissions by 80 percent and PM emissions by 85 percent compared to current emissions." By 2030, that's about 1.2 million tons of NOx and 143,000 tons of particulate matter (PM).

The EPA writes:

The rule comes on the heels of a key part of EPA’s strategy, a proposal last March by the United States and Canada to designate thousands of miles of the two countries’ coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, begins consideration of the ECA plan this month, which would result in stringent standards for large ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of Canada and the United States.

200 miles! Now we're talking. California's new law only applied up to 24 miles from the coasts (for legal reasons), and just for one state. But if the whole US (and Canada) has a uniform regulation that requires cleaner burning engines and fuels, it won't as easy to just ship around the regulation. This should make a real different (if it is enforced properly).

As we wrote previously, cargo ships often have horrible emissions: "Just 15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars"

There's also a good argument to be made that any extra costs from getting cleaner fuel and engines will be partially or completely offset by savings coming from a reduction of health problems and lost productivity.

Via EPA, Environment News Service
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Tags: Air Pollution | Transportation | United States

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