From: U.S. EPA [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2011 4:00 PM
Subject: Compliance and Enforcement News Release (HQ): EPA, Coast Guard
Announce Agreement to Enforce Air Pollution Requirements for Vessels
Operating in U.S. Waters
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2011
EPA, Coast Guard Announce Agreement to Enforce Air Pollution
Requirements for Vessels Operating in U.S. Waters
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S.
Coast Guard (USCG) today announced an agreement to jointly enforce U.S.
and international air pollution requirements for vessels operating in
U.S. waters. The requirements establish limits on nitrogen oxides (NOx)
emissions and require the use of fuel with lower sulfur content,
protecting people's health and the environment by reducing
ozone-producing pollution, which can cause smog and aggravate asthma.
The most stringent requirements apply to ships operating within 200
nautical miles of the coast of North America.
"Today's agreement forges a strong partnership between EPA and the U.S.
Coast Guard, advancing our shared commitment to enforce air emissions
standards for ships operating in U.S. waters," said Cynthia Giles,
assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance
Assurance. "Reducing harmful air pollution is a priority for EPA and by
working with the Coast Guard we will ensure that the ships moving
through our waters meet their environmental obligations, protecting our
nation's air quality and the health of our coastal communities."
"This agreement demonstrates the Coast Guard's long-standing commitment
to protecting our nation's marine environment," said Rear Adm. Kevin
Cook, director of Prevention Policy for the U.S. Coast Guard. "Aligning
our capabilities with EPA enhances our commitment to the marine
environment while minimizing the impact on shipping."
The large marine diesel engines that provide propulsion and auxiliary
power on many ocean-going vessels emit significant amounts of pollution.
Without further action, EPA estimates that by 2030, NOx emissions from
ships will more than double, growing to 2.1 million tons per year. The
memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by EPA and the USCG outlines
the agencies' commitment to jointly enforce federal and international
laws that EPA projects could prevent 12,000-31,000 premature deaths
annually by 2030. Under the MOU, both the USCG and EPA will perform
inspections and investigations, and will take appropriate enforcement
actions if a violation is detected.
A letter to industry was also signed today by USCG and EPA to provide
the regulated community with notice that USCG and EPA will be taking
measures to promote compliance with federal and international air
pollution requirements and will be actively pursuing violations.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a United Nations agency
which deals with maritime safety, security and the prevention of marine
pollution from ships across the globe. The International Convention for
the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), developed through the
IMO, is the main international convention covering prevention of
pollution of the marine environment by ships. MARPOL Annex VI addresses
air pollution from ships through the use of both engine-based and
fuel-based standards. Additionally, MARPOL Annex VI requires ships
operated in designated geographical areas, known as emission control
areas or ECAs, to meet the most advanced standards for NOx emissions and
fuel sulfur limits. The United States became a party to MARPOL Annex VI
in 2008 and the treaty is implemented in the United States through the
Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS).
Read the MOU:
Learn about EPA's Ocean Vessels and Large Ships program:
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