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EPA Is One Step Closer to New Ship Emissions Standards

shippingThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivered draft rules for new engine and fuel standards for the largest ocean-bound ships to the White House for review, reports the New York Times.

The draft rule (PDF) requires vessels with large diesel engines to significantly cut their nitrogen-oxide and sulfur-dioxide emissions, reports the New York Times. Short-term standards for newly built engines would go into effect in 2011, and long-term standards would start in 2016, according to the article.

In March, the United States and Canada asked the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish “emission control areas” along their coastlines to tighten emission standards on foreign ships operating in those waters, reports the newspaper.

The EPA estimates that the combined domestic and international initiatives will cut annual nitrogen oxide emissions in the United States by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter emissions by about 143,000 tons, saving about $110 to $280 billion in health-care costs, compared to an annual projected cost of about $3.1 billion, according to the article.

However, lawmakers in the Great Lakes region added a rider to the EPA spending bill to exempt 13 Great Lakes steamships from the pending rules due to economic hardship, according to the New York Times.

Some international tanker companies like the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) are already working to cut their emissions and fuel use. The company plans to cut its energy use by 28 percent through several operational improvements.

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