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CARB Adopts Port and Ship Emissions Reductions Regulations

Port yard trucks

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted two measures designed to curb emissions from port-based cargo-handling equipment and diesel engines used to produce electric power on ocean-going vessels.

The new regulations—the first of their kind in the country—are components of a larger, developing program intended to reduce the emissions attendant to international goods movement into and out of California ports.

The first regulation requires cargo-handling equipment such as yard trucks and container handlers to use Best Available Control Technology (BACT) to reach 2007 or later on-road, or final Tier 4 off-road emissions standards (0.2 g/bhp-hr NOx; 0.01 g/bhp-hr PM) either through the purchase of new equipment or the retrofitting of existing engines, effective 1 January 2007.

ARB estimates that the regulations will reduce diesel PM emissions by 870 tons and NOx emissions by 19,000 tons between 2007 and 2020.

In the second action, the Board adopted a regulation to reduce emissions of diesel PM, NOx, and sulfur oxides (SOx) from auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operated on ocean-going vessels located within 24 nautical miles of the California coast.

The regulation requires the use of marine diesel oil with a 0.5% sulfur limit beginning 1 January 2007, with a decrease to a sulfur limit of 0.1% by 1 January 2010.

For the nearly 75% of vessels now using heavy fuel oil in their auxiliary engines, compliance with this measure will result in an estimated 75% reduction in diesel PM, 80% reduction in SOx, and 6% reduction in NOx. Between 2007 and 2020, it is expected to reduce diesel PM emissions by more than 23,000 tons, NOx by 15,000 tons, and SOx by 200,000 tons.

The regulation allows for alternate modes of compliance as long as the emissions reductions are at least equivalent. Fleet operators may average emissions. The regulation also encourages the use of alternative shore-side maritime power (AMP), known as “cold-ironing.” AMP enables ships to shut down their diesel-burning engines and plug into electric support power while at berth.

Separately, officials at the Port of Los Angeles welcomed the Evergreen Group’s Hatsu Sigma, a new S-type, 7,024-TEU “green” mega-ship designed with a number of environmental features that include AMP capability.

Evergreen has really shown its commitment to the environment with this state-of-the-art vessel. We will move forward aggressively with the necessary dockside infrastructure that will allow the Hatsu Sigma and its sister ships to plug into clean electric power when they dock here at the Port of Los Angeles.

—Interim Port executive director Bruce Seaton

Hatsu Sigma, designed with a green features that include ship-to-shore Alternative Maritime Power (AMP), at berth in Los Angeles.

In addition to AMP, the S-type ships feature a double-skinned hull and fuel tanks positioned for optimal safety against spills and fires; a high capacity oily water separator that significantly reduces oil content in waste water; much larger bilge water and gray water holding tanks to reduce the need to discharge when sailing; main engines and generators that incorporate low NOx technology; electric-powered equipment on the vessel; low sulfur fuel-burning technology when sailing in restricted areas; and an environmentally friendly anti-fouling exterior and undercoating to minimize marine life impact.



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