U.S. Ports Argue for Reducing Ship Emissions

Thursday, October 11, 2007
At its U.S. Legislative Policy Council meeting last week in Norfolk, VA, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) got approval from its member ports to advocate for setting new, tougher standards for air emissions from both foreign and domestic ships. The emissions-limiting agenda sought by AAPA follows a U.S. government proposal for more stringent international rules for ocean-going vessels. Susan Monteverde, AAPA's government relations vice president indicated that the AAPA recommended and its members approved the Association to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support its proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to adopt more stringent vessel emission requirements as part of the international MARPOL Annex VI treaty. The recommendation calls for strict emission limits for particulate matter and oxides of sulfur, beginning in 2011; limits on new engines to achieve oxides of nitrogen reductions of at least 15 percent beginning in 2011 (compared to existing emissions levels); and phased-in requirements on "legacy" engines (built before Jan. 1, 2000) to achieve a 20 percent oxides of nitrogen reduction starting in 2010. The approach to cut emissions is through a combination of new fuel standards in certain coastal areas and new engine system standards. At its Oct. 3 meeting in Norfolk, AAPA's members agreed to support the EPA in its quest to set new international standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) for tier two and tier three ships' engines, new standards for particulate matter and oxides of sulfur (SOx) for all vessels, and standards for oxides of nitrogen for existing vessels.

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