This is excellent news and a critical part of the EPA's strategy to reduce pollution from ocean-going ships.
These ships are like giant smokestacks on the sea. They cause pollution and public health problems not only for coastal communities but for millions who live inland.
EPA should be commended for proposing to clean these ships up.
From: Piper.Bonnie@epamail.epa.gov [mailto:Piper.Bonnie@epamail.epa.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 1:03 PM
Subject: EPA Office of Public Liaison Notice: EPA Proposes Stringent Standards forLarge Ships
Cathy Milbourn (News Media Only)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2009
EPA Proposes Stringent Standards for Large Ships
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency today announced the
next steps in a coordinated strategy to slash harmful emissions from
ocean-going vessels. EPA is proposing a rule under the Clean Air Act
that sets tough engine and fuel standards for U.S. flagged ships that
would harmonize with international standards and lead to significant air
quality improvements throughout the country.
“These emissions are contributing to health, environmental and economic
challenges for port communities and others that are miles inland.
Building on our work to form an international agreement earlier this
year, we’re taking the next steps to reduce significant amounts of
harmful pollution from getting into the air we breathe,” said EPA
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Lowering emissions from American ships
will help safeguard our port communities, and demonstrate American
leadership in protecting our health and the environment around the
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.
Air pollution from large ships, such as oil tankers and cargo ships, is
expected to grow rapidly in line with port traffic increases. By 2030,
the domestic and international strategy is expected to reduce annual
emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large marine diesel engines by
about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by about
143,000 tons. When fully implemented, the coordinated effort would
reduce NOx emissions by 80 percent and PM emissions by 85 percent
compared to current emissions.
The emission reductions from the proposed strategy would yield
significant health and welfare benefits that would span beyond U.S.
ports and coastlines, reaching inland areas. EPA estimates that in
2030, this effort would prevent between 13,000 and 33,000 premature
deaths, 1.5 million work days lost, and 10 million minor
restricted-activity days. The estimated annual health benefits in 2030
as a result of reduced air pollution are valued between $110 and $280
billion at an annual projected cost of approximately $3.1 billion - as
high as a 90-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio.
The proposed rulemaking is designed to reflect the IMO’s stringent ECA
standards and broader worldwide program. The rule adds two new tiers of
NOX standards and strengthens EPA’s existing diesel fuel program for
these ships. It represents another milestone in EPA’s decade-long effort
to reduce pollution from both new and existing diesel engines under the
National Clean Diesel Campaign.
Information on the components of the coordinated strategy, including the
proposed Clean Air Act standards and the ECA designation: