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California ARB Proposing New Port Emissions Regulations

23 November 2005

At the 8 December public meeting of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), ARB staff will propose for Board consideration two new regulations designed to mitigate criteria emissions from cargo-handling equipment used at California ports as well as ocean-going vessels docked the ports or within 24 nautical miles of the coast.

In October, ARB released a report detailing its findings that diesel PM emissions from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach contributed some 21% of the total South Coast Air Basin PM emissions in 2002, with corresponding impact on public health. (Earlier post.)

The two proposed port regulations will be:

  • A regulation that would reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen from mobile cargo handling equipment used at ports and intermodal rail yards in California.

  • A regulation that would reduce emissions of particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, and sulfur oxides from the use of auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operated on ocean-going vessels located within 24 nautical miles of the California coastline. The proposed regulation would apply to both U.S.-flagged vessels and foreign-flagged vessels.

  • Last month, the Port of Los Angeles announced that it is planning a major shift in purchasing road haul trucks and in-port cargo handling equipment that run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), electric power and other alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels rather than conventional diesel. (Earlier post.)

    Separate from the port issue, ARB staff is also proposing further regulation of diesel vehicles owned by public agencies and utilities that operate in residential communities on a regular basis, resulting in an increase in the communities' risk of exposure to toxic emissions and oxides of nitrogen. The new proposed regulation will require that the fleets reduce their diesel emissions through application of best available control technology as specified.

    Details of the proposed regulations will be available at the public hearing.

    November 23, 2005 in Diesel, Emissions, Policy, Ports and Marine | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

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    Plug-In Ships May Help Reduce Port Pollution By PETER SANDERS
    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, June 25, 2004, $$$
    :

    ... In an effort to curb high diesel emissions from the world's oceangoing vessels, the port [of Los Angeles] recently inaugurated the first electrical outlet designed specifically for docked cargo vessels. ... The technique ... known in the industry as "cold ironing," ... allows ships at port to shut off their diesel-run auxiliary engines, which power generators. Instead, the electricity needed to run operations like refrigeration, lighting, climate control and machinery is quietly provided by cables connected to electrical transformers and the power grid onshore. A docked cargo ship burns seven tons of low-grade diesel fuel a day on average to power onboard operations. The emissions released include an estimated three tons of carcinogenic nitrogen oxide and 350 pounds of soot. Ships docked at the Los Angeles port and the nearby Long Beach port expel 13.4 tons of nitrogen oxide per day, equal to 500,000 cars and trucks, says the South Coast Air Quality Management District. ...

    Some other ports, however, don't seem interested in the concept. The Port of Oakland, Calif., near San Francisco spent nearly $9 million in the last few years to reduce emissions but it primarily focused on cleaner-burning fuel for trucks, using electric dredges instead of diesel-powered ones to deepen harbor channels, and even retrofitting transit buses that serve nearby communities with more-efficient engines. Officials at ports in Seattle; Miami; Galveston, Texas; and New York and New Jersey are moving ahead with their own emissions-reduction programs but are wary of committing to specific plans such as cold ironing until there are standardized regulations across the board. Shipping companies, they say, probably will follow each other into new technologies but are wary of a technological disparity at different ports.

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