As more Americans shift their purchasing to online home shopping, transpacific sea freight rates have risen to the highest on record and fueled Asian container shipping industry growth.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participates on the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is part of the United Nations. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is a group of member states within IMO that works on maritime safety and security and the prevention of marine pollution. The resulting global standards are embodied in the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, a treaty called "MARPOL." In particular, MARPOL Annex VI defines engine and vessel requirements related to air pollution.
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.
According to Pierce Nahigyan, Staff Writer for the Long Beach Business Journal, although the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles actively compete for trade, they are committed to working together on issues impact surrounding communities. Their environmental partnershipdates back decades and the relationship took a major leap forward in 2005, when the ports’ leadership developed the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).
Peter Moore, an Adjunct Professor of Supply Chain at Georgia College EMBA Program, Program Faculty at the Center for Executive Education at the University of Tennessee, and Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina Beaufort tells us recent action by the IMO and United Nations is requiring owners to make the required investment in scrubbers or even scrapping vessels in favor of new ones with clean-diesel engines that reduce pollutants by 95%