The Environmental Protection Agency has released regulations that set emissions and clean fuel standards for U.S.-flagged ships.
The standards apply to new marine diesel engines with per-cylinder displacements of 30 or more liters. Under the new rules, stronger standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will begin in 2011 and new sulfur content specifications for diesel fuel will be introduced in 2012, for ships traveling within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. and Canadian coastlines. This zone has been designated as an emission control area.
The rules will go far in curbing air pollution from large ships and helping improve the health of residents of coastal and neighboring inland states. Because of the regulations, ultimately, releases of NOx, particulate matter and sulfur oxides will be reduced 80%–95%.
These regulations have been in the works for a while. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says air pollution from large ships, such as oil tankers and cargo ships, is expected to grow rapidly as port traffic increases.