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newsrel -- Ships off California's coast must adhere to world's strictest diesel emission regulation

Posted: 24 Jul 2008 11:50:42
Fuel requirement for ships means large health benefits for

Release 08-64
July 24, 2008
Dimitri Stanich

Ships off California's coast must adhere to world's strictest
diesel emission regulation

Requirement will prevent hundreds of premature deaths annually

SACRAMENTO: Today the California Air Resources Board adopted a
regulation that eliminates 15 tons of diesel exhaust daily from
ocean-going vessels, substantially reducing the cancer rates and
premature deaths associated with living near seaports and trade
corridors along California's coast.

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

"This regulation will save lives," said Air Resources Board
Chairman Mary Nichols. "At ports and all along the California
coast we will see cleaner air and better health."

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%
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.

An estimated 3,600 premature deaths between 2009 and 2015 will
be avoided, and the cancer risk associated with the emissions
from these vessels would be reduced by over 80 percent. In
addition, the measure will aid the South Coast Air Quality
Management District meet its federal clean air requirements for
fine particulate matter by 2014 and move California closer to
its goal of reducing diesel particulate matter 85 percent by

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40
other known cancer-causing compounds. Currently in California,
diesel PM emissions from ocean-going vessels expose more than
twenty-seven million people or 80% of California's total
population, to cancer risk levels at or above 10 chances in a

This fall the ARB will consider further measures to reduce
emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks. Over the past 10 years
ARB has adopted regulations affecting cargo-handling equipment,
transport refrigeration units, truck idling, off-road equipment,
harbor craft, port drayage trucks, onboard incineration, and
ships at-berth. ARB's cleaner fuel requirements for on-road
diesel trucks, railroad and ship engines have reduced pollution
around rail yards and ports.

For a map of current ship emission impacts on California go to
the online press release here:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr072408b.htm .

For more information on the new regulation covering vessels go
here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/ports/marinevess/marinevess.htm .

For more information on ARB's efforts to address diesel
emissions go here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/diesel.htm .

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every
Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy
consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and
cut your energy cost, see our web site at http://www.arb.ca.gov


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