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newsrel -- Shipping companies fined $161K for violating fuel regulation

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 12:17:26
Law requires switch to cleaner diesel within regulated California

Print Release

Release #:11-14

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Karen Caesar


Shipping companies fined $161K for violating fuel regulation

Law requires switch to cleaner diesel within regulated California

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined three
Europe-based shipping companies a combined $161,000 for failure
to switch engines on their cargo vessels from dirty “bunker” fuel
to cleaner, low-sulfur fuel upon entering Regulated California
Waters, as required by state law.

“California’s scenic shoreline and coastal breezes can be
deceiving,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols.  “Cargo ships and
other vessels that are invisible from the shore send their air
pollutants miles inland, endangering the lungs of millions of
residents.  The ARB’s regulation requiring use of cleaner fuel
within 24 miles of our shore protects Californians from an air
pollution source most of us don’t think about.”

The measure, adopted in 2008, eliminates 15 tons of diesel
exhaust – a known carcinogen – daily from ocean-going vessels,
and is considered a vital tool in helping to reduce cancer rates
and premature deaths associated with living near the state’s busy
ports and trade corridors.  

In August 2009, prior to docking at the Port of San Diego, the
Beluga Recognition operated its main engines within state waters
on bunker fuel, a dirty fuel oil that contributes to onshore
pollution levels of diesel particulate matter, sulfur oxides and
nitrogen oxides.  The parent company, Beluga Fleet Management of
Bremen, Germany, was fined $53,000.

In December 2009, after it docked at the Port of Long Beach,
Jumbo Shipping’s Daniella was also cited for failing to switch to
the required cleaner fuel while operating within regulated
California waters.  Its parent company, Kahn Special Transport
B.V. of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was fined $55,000.

Most recently, in April 2010, the Nova Galicia was fined after
docking at the Port of Long Beach for failing to properly
complete switching over its engines to cleaner fuel. The
Lilienthal, Germany, company that owns the ship was fined

All three companies complied with ARB’s investigation, and in
addition to making their payments to the California Air Pollution
Control Fund to support air quality research, agreed to follow
fuel switchover requirements and keep accurate records.

The ARB conducts an estimated 250 ship inspections each year,
checking for proper fuel usage, record-keeping and other
compliance requirements, and takes marine gas oil or marine
diesel oil samples for submission to the ARB laboratory for
sulfur quantity verification.
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40
other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California
identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant
based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other
health problems.

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

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