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EPA Proposes New Emissions Standards For Large Ships

Posted on July 1, 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule under the Clean Air Act that sets tough engine and fuel standards for U.S. flagged ships that would harmonize with international standards and lead to significant air quality improvements throughout the country.

“These emissions are contributing to health, environmental and economic challenges for port communities and others that are miles inland,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Lowering emissions from American ships will help safeguard our port communities, and demonstrate American leadership in protecting our health and the environment around the globe.”

The rule comes on the heels of a key part of EPA’s strategy, a proposal last March by the United States and Canada to designate thousands of miles of the two countries’ coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, begins consideration of the ECA plan this month, which would result in stringent standards for large ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of Canada and the United States.

The proposed rulemaking is designed to reflect the IMO’s stringent ECA standards and broader worldwide program. The rule adds two new tiers of NOx standards and strengthens EPA’s existing diesel fuel program for these ships. It represents another milestone in EPA’s decade-long effort to reduce pollution from both new and existing diesel engines under the National Clean Diesel Campaign. More information on the components of the coordinated strategy, including the proposed Clean Air Act standards and the ECA designation are available on the EPA website.

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