EPA targets large cargo vessels for new diesel emissions standards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to propose new emissions standards for diesel engines used on board large ocean-going vessels.
EPA said the standards are in line with recent U.S. proposals to the International Maritime Organization on ship pollution reduction.
“Diesel ships are a global economic workhorse,” said Stephen L. Johnson, EPA administrator, in a statement. “Working with the International Maritime Organization, EPA is reducing emissions from the shipping sector — making ports across the world harbors of cleaner air.”
The advance notice of proposed rulemaking takes aim at emissions Category 3 marine engines used by containerships, tankers, cruise ships and bulk carriers. The EPA and other international pollution regulators increasingly cite large vessel diesel engines as a major source of pollution.
' The EPA’s approach to reducing emissions in Category 3 vessel engines will be rolled out in stages and include:
' Tier 2 NOx (nitrogen oxides) limits for new Category 3 engines starting in 2011 that would achieve a 15 percent to 25 percent NOx reduction.
' Tier 3 NOx limits for new Category 3 engines starting in 2016 that would apply when ships are operating in U.S. ports and coastal areas, and that would require the use of high efficiency catalytic after-treatment emission control technology capable of reducing NOx emissions by 80 percent or more.
' NOx limits for existing engines (those built before Jan. 1, 2000) that would achieve a 20 percent NOx reduction. (These standards would take effect beginning 2010-2012.)
' Particulate matter and SOx (sulfur oxides) performance standards starting in 2011 that would apply to all vessels when they are operating in U.S. ports and coastal areas and that could be achieved through the use of low sulfur fuel or the use of exhaust gas cleaning technology.
For more information on the EPA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking, the timetable for the rulemaking, and the federal government’s proposal to the IMO amendments of the Annex VI pf the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships access: www.epa.gov/otaq/oceanvessels.htm. The agency has set the completion date for the proposed rulemaking for Dec. 17, 2009.