In a recent article in the industry journal, Workboat, Kirk Moore reports on a recent announcement by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on the beginning of the process of modifying the state’s existing Commercial Harbor Craft Rule.
"Now in its implementation phase, the rule makes California the only state in the U.S. that requires most vessels with older engines — pre-dating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency diesel emissions standards, or just meeting Tier 1 standards — to be repowered with newer Tier 2 or Tier 3 engines before the end of their economic lives."
According to CARB's notice of rulemaking intent, the CARB staff contends commercial vessel operations in state waters “will continue to contribute a significant amount of diesel particulate matter risk after full implementation of the current regulation in 2023,”
This notice starts a fact-finding process which includes seeking input from the maritime industry and other stakeholders. CARB is proposing to complete that and have a rule proposal ready to present to board members in 2020. These efforts would bring more stringent requirements for tugboats and other freight-related vessels, and for passenger vessels including ferries and excursion boats. The CARB staff will also look at the feasibility of retrofitting existing vessels with Tier 4 propulsion, advanced emission control devices, hybrid power and alternative fuels.