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December 9, 2005

California adopts curbs on HFO use in marine diesels

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted two measures that, among other things, seek to prevent shipowners from burning HFO in auxiliary diesels or in diesels used as prime movers in diesel electric installations.

The regulations cover emissions of diesel particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The first controls emissions from mobile cargo handling equipment such as yard trucks and forklifts that operate at ports and intermodal rail yards. The regulation calls for the replacement or retrofit of existing engines with ones that use Best Available Control Technology (BACT), and will require, beginning January 1, 2007, that newly purchased, leased, or rented cargo handling equipment limit PM and NOx to very low levels.

In the second action, which seems highly likely to be challenged in Federal courts, the board adopted a regulation to reduce emissions of diesel PM, NOx, and sulfur oxides (SOx) from the use of auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operated on ocean-going vessels located within California waters.

You can access the draft regulation here:http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/marine2005/appa.pdf

The ARB says "reductions will be accomplished through the use of cleaner burning marine distillate fuels or equally effective emission controls. The regulation is expected to yield immediate emission reductions upon implementation in 2007. Specifically, for the nearly 75 percent of vessels now using heavy fuel oil in their auxiliary engines, compliance with this measure will result in an estimated 75 percent reduction in diesel PM, 80 percent reduction in SOx, and 6 percent reduction in NOx. Between 2007 and 2020, it is expected to reduce diesel PM emissions by more than 23,000 tons, NOx by 15,000 tons, and SOx by 200,000 tons.

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