Short-Sea Shippers Warn of New EPA Rules' Unintended Consequences

MarineLink.com
Monday, March 03, 2014
Rod Jones: Photo credit CSL Group

A new well-intentioned maritime fuel regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to crowd roads and increase onshore air pollution, maintain shipping industry leaders Rod Jones and Bill Terry, President and CEO of the CSL Group and of Eagle Rock Aggregates, respectively. They explain that the rule requires the use of high-cost, ultra-low sulfur fuels in ships operating within the 200 nautical mile (nm) boundary of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).

Jones and Terry will offer testimony at the Congressional hearing on EPA's new fuel standard for ships operating inside of the ECA: "Maritime Transportation Regulations: Impacts on Safety, Security, Jobs and the Environment" on Tuesday, March 4, at 10:00 am before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation.

Mr. Jones' CSL Group operates throughout the Americas and globally, specializing in short sea shipping, which transports cargo along coastal routes, usually within a few dozen miles of shore. Eagle Rock Aggregates, based in Richmond, California, relies on short sea shipping to transport the essential building materials it produces, used for the construction of roadways and buildings.

His testimony highlights concerns that the EPA failed to consider all sectors of the shipping industry in setting this new standard, particularly vessels engaged in short sea shipping. The EPA calculated anticipated cost increases at 3 percent, but focused only on trans-oceanic shipping, whose vessels travel within the ECA for only a fraction of their voyage.

For short sea shipping vessels, which spend nearly all of their time within the ECA, the new fuel requirement means cost increases 10 times that of the EPA's estimates, in turn spelling higher shipping prices and a greater reliance on less environmentally-friendly land-based shipping modes, like truck and rail. "CSL calculated that, on average, each ship would bear about $815,000 of additional annual fuel costs," explains Mr. Jones in his written testimony."For CSL alone, the cost could exceed 14 million dollars per year."

Mr. Terry's testimony describes the new rule's widespread impacts. For construction companies such as his Eagle Rock Aggregates, increased shipping costs will mean higher prices for construction materials. "We at Eagle Rock have invested in an infrastructure that relies upon ships to deliver our product...The ECA will now penalize our business model that by all accounts, is eco-friendly based on the favorability of marine transportation."

Their testimonies explain how the EPA can modify its rule, achieving the same goals without negative economic impacts and harmful environmental consequences. Short sea shipping vessels are much smaller than trans-oceanic container ships, and have virtually no impact on coastal air quality once reaching their cruising distance of 50 nm out at sea. Accordingly, Mr. Jones and Mr. Terry will recommend that the EPA adjust its policy so that short sea shipping vessels be required to use the new, more expensive fuel mandated by the rule up to 50 nm from shore, instead of to the ECA's boundary of 200 nm offshore.
 

Bill Terry
 

 

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

1,000th Becker Mewis Duct to Be Presented at Nor-Shipping

Hamburg-based Becker Marine Systems will present its 1,000th Becker Mewis Duct in Oslo at Nor-Shipping 2015.   The use of all ducts previously delivered will have lowered CO2 by more than 1.

Shell Declares Force Majeure on Forcados Crude Exports

Shell has declared force majeure on exports of Nigeria's Forcados crude oil stream, a spokesman for the company said on Wednesday.   It declared force majeure

IMCA Publishes Security, Emergency Guidance

The threat to maritime security from piracy, terrorism, criminal acts, and hostage and kidnapping threats continues to pose challenges to ships’ owners, masters and crew members,

Legal

Suspected Migrant Smugglers Arrested

German police arrested three men on Wednesday suspected of belonging to an organised criminal group that smuggles people from Africa to the European Union.   Around 7,

US Navy Settles Environmental Violations

A settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Navy will help reduce potentially harmful discharges of ozone-depleting substances and ensure

Maersk Issues 'letter of undertaking' to Iran

Maersk Line said on Wednesday it had provided a letter of undertaking in relation to uncollected cargo that has led to the seizure by Iranian authorities of the vessel Maersk Tigris.

Environmental

US Navy Settles Environmental Violations

A settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Navy will help reduce potentially harmful discharges of ozone-depleting substances and ensure

IMO’s MEPC Set to Adopt Polar Code Provisions

Polar Code environmental provisions set for adoption at IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee   The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of

April Ice Hinders Great Lakes Ore Trade

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 4.3 million tons in April, nearly 15 percent below the month’s long-term average, the

Marine Power

1,000th Becker Mewis Duct to Be Presented at Nor-Shipping

Hamburg-based Becker Marine Systems will present its 1,000th Becker Mewis Duct in Oslo at Nor-Shipping 2015.   The use of all ducts previously delivered will have lowered CO2 by more than 1.

Modernization for Two Swedish Icebreakers

Protacon, a company based in Jyväskylä, Finland, informs it has received an order from Swedish Maritime Administration for the modernization of electric and automation systems of two icebreakers.

IMO’s MEPC Set to Adopt Polar Code Provisions

Polar Code environmental provisions set for adoption at IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee   The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of

Government Update

India, Iran Ink Port Deal Despite US Warning about Haste

India reached a deal on Wednesday to develop a strategic port in southeast Iran despite U.S. pressure not to rush into any such trade agreements before world powers

US Navy Stops Accompanying Ships through Strait of Hormuz

The U.S. Navy has stopped accompanying commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a mission it began last week in the wake of Iran's seizure of a cargo ship, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

US Navy Settles Environmental Violations

A settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Navy will help reduce potentially harmful discharges of ozone-depleting substances and ensure

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2173 sec (5 req/sec)