After many months of lobbying Congress and the EPA to back away from standards designed to reduce deadly ocean ship air pollution near U.S. coasts, Carnival Cruise Lines has finally reached an agreement in principle with the EPA to reduce its ship emissions. 1.usa.gov/151HxGZ
Under this arrangement, Carnival would be permitted temporary exemptions that would permit some of its ships to pollute more until they could be fitted with pollution control systems.
This will mean short-term pollution increases but also the possibility of long-term pollution reductions. The key issue here will be enforcement of these new limits, and Clean Air Watch will continue to monitor this issue closely.
But this deal also underscores the big need for EPA to move ahead with its "Tier 3" plan for cleaner motor vehicles and cleaner, lower-sulfur gasoline to reduce smog and soot pollution. We need to find a way to make up for the short-term pollution increases associated with the Carnival deal, and the Tier 3 plan is the best way to do it.
EPA needs to make the Tier 3 rules final by the end of this year. Any delay will only mean more dirty air, and more health damage.