The increase in the number of diesel-fueled backup generators in the state of California is both an obstacle to the state achieving its greenhouse gas reduction targets and drives nearly $136 million in annual health costs.
What Are Diesel Particulate Filters?
Diesel engines emit significant amounts of particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into the atmosphere. They also emit toxic air pollutants that adversely affect human health and contribute to acid rain, ground-level ozone, and reduced visibility. Studies show that exposure to diesel exhaust causes lung damage and respiratory problems. There is also increasing evidence that diesel emissions may cause cancer.
The California Air Resources Board reached a settlement agreement with Wan Hai Lines for $680,750 for violations of the Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation. The intent of the regulation is to reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from ocean-going vessels' auxiliary engines while they are docked at California ports.
As part of its effort to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and in the wake of COP26, it was recently announced that a Green Vessel Classification Plan and a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Fee would be implemented at the Panama Canal.
In what should be good news for the maritime shipping industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) in December awarded $12.6 million in grants to marine highway projects under the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP).
This is in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides $25 million to support marine highway projects and to increase the use of U.S. waterways.
The goal of AMHP is to ease highway congestion by getting more truckloads and containers off the highway and onto America’s underused waterways.
Speaking at the Port of Los Angeles in November, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said “We’re excited to take things to the next level because we do think the potential for our waterways to get freight off our roads and reduce emissions is underutilized.”
According to Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley, “America’s Marine Highway Program is an innovative program that encourages the use of America’s navigable waterways for the movement of freight and people as an alternative to land-based transportation.”
Too often, Americans don’t know enough about the air quality in their communities and the impact it has on their health. A new ProPublica interactive neighborhood map shows, for the first time, the air quality in America’s neighborhoods. It was developed to interpret data from air pollutant monitoring stations into a scale that indicates how polluted the air is and the health effects associated. The higher the Air Quality Index (AQI) value, the greater the level of pollution and the greater health concern.
Some of the world’s largest companies are joining forces to accelerate efforts to fight the climate crisis. Google, Disney, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Salesforce, Unilever, and Workday have joined forces to increase the scale and impact of business investment in climate solutions. They have partnered to create the Business Alliance for Scaling Climate Solutions (BASCS). This group’s objectives are to gather and disseminate climate solutions, connect with existing initiatives around the community, provide a platform for climate conversations, and then share success stories, best practices, and opportunities.