California Passes Law to Reduce Emissions

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation that eliminates 15 tons of diesel exhaust daily from ocean-going vessels.

The new measure requires ocean-going vessels within 24 nautical miles of 's coastline to use lower-sulfur marine distillates in their main and auxiliary engines and auxiliary boilers, rather than bunker fuel. About 2,000 ocean-going vessels visiting ports annually are subject to this restriction.

The regulation will be implemented in two steps, each requiring lower sulfur content in the fuel- first in 2009 and final in 2012. Both U.S.-flagged and foreign-flagged vessels are subject to the regulation which is the most stringent and comprehensive requirement for marine fuel-use in the world.

Using the cleaner fuels required in 2009 will result in immediate and significant reductions in the emissions from ocean-going vessels. Reductions will increase as the fuel sulfur content is progressively lowered through the regulation's phase-in. In 2009 about a 75 percent of the diesel PM, over 80 percent of the sulfur oxides and 6 percent of the nitrogen oxides will be eliminated. In 2012, when the very low sulfur fuel requirement is implemented, reductions of diesel particulate matter will be 15 tons daily, an 83 percent reduction compared to uncontrolled emissions. Sulfur oxides will be reduced by 140 tons daily, a 95 percent reduction and nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 11 tons per day, a 6 percent reduction.

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