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Marine Log

February 7, 2007

Bill to implement MARPOL Annex VI

Rep. James L. Oberstar (Minn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, have introduced introduced the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 802). It would amend the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to implement MARPOL Annex VI.

Annex VI, adopted by IMO in 1997, established international regulations that limit sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and prohibit deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. In 2005, the regulations entered into force internationally, and the Senate adopted the treaty the following year.

"Recently-released studies demonstrate that the world must pursue cooperative efforts to combat global warming and turn around the Earth's rising temperatures. The International Maritime Organization stepped up to the plate and developed amendments to the MARPOL Convention to regulate air pollution from ships, and now it is Congress' turn," said Rep. Oberstar. "The Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2007 will give the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority they need to develop standards and to enforce those requirements on the thousands of domestic and foreign-flag vessels that enter the U.S. each year from overseas."

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported out favorably similar legislation in the 109th Congress, but it did not receive Senate consideration.

"Although the EPA has more experience than the Coast Guard on air quality emission standards, the Coast Guard has great expertise over vessel safety issues," Rep. Cummings said. "By working cooperatively in this joint effort, I am confident that the EPA and the Coast Guard will develop environmentally responsible standards and requirements that will result in the reduction of pollution emitted from large vessels powered by diesel engines."

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