Houston Terminal Fire May Last Two More days
A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities.The fire began Sunday morning in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile substance used to create octane-boosting components of gasoline.No injuries were reported from the fire but nearby residents were encouraged to remain indoors. The entire city of Deer Park, Texas, a Houston suburb, was told to shelter in doors all day Sunday.
DTF: Longer Workboat Engine Life Impacts Environment
New Research Doubles Service Life Estimate of Marine Workboat Engines, Reveals Big Opportunities for Diesel Emissions Reductions. New Research also Underscores Cost-Effective Opportunity to Upgrade to New Diesel Engines and Reduce Emissions for Vulnerable Communities. Commercial workboat engines, which are essential for maritime commerce, are staying in service more than two times longer than predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
2018 Green Apple Spill Exercise
Committed to providing tugboat and towing vessel operators with a platform to meet regularity requirements and collaborate with local resources, the annual event also reminds us that Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.On September 28 2018, American Marine Associates, LLC (AMA) coordinated and hosted the 3rd annual Green Apple Spill Response Exercise in Bayonne, NJ. The Green Apple Spill Response exercise was established specifically for the tugboat and towing vessel industry operating in New York Harbor.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - Immediate Implications of the New Law
This week, on December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA): Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018.VIDA establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges, adding a new Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p): Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are…
AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent
Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.
EPA Funds Diesel Pollution Abatement Efforts in Mid-Atlantic Region
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced funding for three clean diesel projects totaling $4.7 million to reduce air pollution from aging diesel engines in the Mid-Atlantic region.The funding will go to the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, (MARAMA) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (WashCOG).“Taking steps to reduce emissions from older diesel engines rates among some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air we all breathe…
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on how the government should “prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector.” OMB…
Thordon Advises on VGP Delay
Thordon Bearings has advised its customers with newbuilds under construction to make sure they have the necessary documentation in place permitting operations in U.S. waters prior to 18th December 2018.The advice follows the October 10 announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the 2013 Vessel General Permit, due to expire in December 2018, will now be administratively continued till at least March 2019, when an updated version, VGP 3.0, will be introduced.“The delay in introducing VGP 3.0 means that operators of existing vessels looking to operate in U.S.
EPA: VGP Will Not be Reissued This Year
The EPA has provided updated advice on the reissuance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP).The 2013 VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date, but will be administratively continued and remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Owners/operators of vessels operating under the administratively continued permit are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of that permit.
New Deere Marine Engine Ships
John Deere Power Systems is shipping the new PowerTech 4045SFM85 marine engine to boat owners and builders. The manufacturer touts the PowerTech 4045SFM85's power-to-weight, torque and compact size, saying it is suited for planing and semi-displacement hulls.The PowerTech 4045SFM85 engine has two ratings:-- M4 rating with 205 kW (275 hp) at 2600 rpm and-- M5 rating with 235 kW (315 hp) at 2800 rpm. These ratings are ideal for light-duty commercial vessels, high-speed governmental applications and high-speed pleasure crafts.
US Delays New VGP Requirements Until March 2019
While waiting for the new Vessel General Permit (VGP) to be finalized, operators must file a Notice of Intent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to December 18, 2018 in order for vessels to continue to operate under their current VGP also after this date.According to a recent Regulatory Update published by the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the EPA has further delayed the release its new Vessel General Permit (VGP 3.0).The proposed…
Keehi Marine to Reduce Stormwater Discharge Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Hawaiian repair yard Keehi Marine, Inc. to reduce pollution in its stormwater discharges to Keehi Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.Acting on a tip it received from the public, EPA performed an inspection in April 2017 at the Honolulu boatyard and found accumulation of fine sediment and debris without controls that prevent stormwater and associated debris from entering stormwater discharges and flowing into Keehi Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. It was discovered that recent flooding at a covered work area indicating pollutants had washed offsite. From September 2016 to December 2017…
Answering the Call for Environmental Answers
The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.
Thordon Bearings: EAL Protection in a Class of its Own
The ideal solution for the tightening regulatory noose also brings a different (and welcome) shade of ‘green’ for workboat operators.As the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ramps up enforcement of regulations that mandate that all vessels over 24 meters (78 feet) operating in US waters must switch over to EALs in all oil-to-sea interfaces before their next drydocking, it is an arguably good time to be in the lubricants business. At the same time, Thordon Bearings, a manufacturer of seawater lubricated bearings for the marine industry has its own thoughts on that very topic.
The EPA's Clean Water Act and Understanding VGP
The Vessel General Permit (VGP) falls under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), better known as the Clean Water Act. It is administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency not well known or understood by the maritime industry.For years, the EPA had adopted a policy of broadly exempting discharges into the water that were incidental to normal operation of vessels. That changed after environmental advocacy groups prevailed in a judicial challenge. The first iteration of the VGP entered into effect in 2008 and remained in effect until replaced by the current iteration in 2013.
Wärtsilä 34DF Engine Awarded EPA Tier III Certification
Wärtsilä marks another milestone for its Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine.The 34DF engine has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier III certification for diesel mode operation when installed together with the Wärtsilä NOx Reducer (NOR) system, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that converts nitrogen oxides (NOx) with the aid of a catalyst into diatomic nitrogen (N2) and water.Wärtsilä said it is the first engine manufacturer to be awarded…
REGULATORY WATCH: The Global 0.50% Sulfur Cap: 30 months and counting down …
Industry frets about the coming deadline. Shipping desperately wants to be ready, but will global shore-based infrastructure and refining capacity match the demand that is sure to come? And … are regulators listening to industry’s concerns? In early June, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public workshop in Washington to help the agencies prepare for the January 1, 2020 deadline for worldwide implementation of very low sulfur marine fuel that meets the new 0.50% sulfur cap as set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Study: Nonnative Species Carried in Lakers' Ballast Water
A recent study on nonindigenous species of plankton in ballast discharges from U.S. and Canadian lakers to western Lake Superior documented five species of nonindigenous zooplankton not yet established in western Lake Superior, including Hemimysis anomala (“bloody red shrimp”), in ballast water discharged there. It also detected, in uptake water, a species of zooplankton (Paraleptastacus wilsoni) that had not previously been recorded in the Great Lakes.Some of the species, including this one, live in harbor sediment and may have escaped routine surveillance to date.
New EAL Grease for ATB Couplings
Specialty lubricants manufacturer Klϋber Lubrication recently introduced a new environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL) grease for articulated tug and barge (ATB) couplings, Klüberbio AM 12-501.Klüberbio AM 12-501 is an adhesive EAL grease designed specifically for the large plain bearings, rams and connectors used in ATB coupling systems. It is based on fully synthetic ester oils for high performance and biodegradability, aluminum complex thickener for adhesion and resistance to water and select additives to reduce wear.Klüberbio AM 12-501 meets ATB coupling system OEM specifications for pumpability, resistance to water washout and spray off, corrosion protection and load carrying capabilities.
EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions
Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…
Maritime to Get Biggest Bang for VW Settlement Bucks
Imagine a settlement over falsifying emission levels in another transportation sector dropping money onto your deck. Who knew? But it’s true. The $2.9 billion settlement fund Volkswagen agreed to capitalize for distribution across all 50 states, tribal lands and Puerto Rico, as a result of “dieselgate,” its criminal dodging of required auto emission levels, presents an unparalleled opportunity to maritime companies that want to move their noxious diesel engines up a couple of EPA notches, and stick someone else with close to half the bill or more.
Dieselgate 101: Opening the Door to Cleaner Engines
Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time – or at least pay the staggering fine. And pay it forward, Volkwagen will. The auto manufacturer got caught using software to trick emissions control software during testing on some cars – nearly 500,000 2.0 liter and 83,000 3.0 liter diesel vehicles – in order to get a passing grade, after which the cars operated in violation of the Clean Air Act. The years of cheating on vehicles from model years 2009 to 2016 sold and leased in the U.S., resulted in emissions of up to 40 times the permitted level of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.
Tug, Switcher Engine Upgrades Offer Most Cost-Effective Options
Clean diesel technology upgrades for large tug and switcher locomotive engines cost only $4,379 to $15,201 per ton of nitrogen oxides (NOx), compared to more than $30,000 per ton of NOx for many other diesel emission reduction projects. The Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has released a report documenting the significant emission reduction benefits that can be gained by replacing older engines in tug boats and switcher locomotives with the latest clean diesel models.