Maritime Administration's Formulation of a Maritime Energy and Clean Emissions Program




Gore DJ

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American Society of Mechanical Engineers


The Environmental Protection Agency promulgation of 'Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from New Marine Compression Ignition Engines at or above 37 kW,' on December 29, 1999, marked the first time federal air pollution regulations were directly applied to marine engines for commercial U.S. ships. Perhaps surprisingly, these regulations are not having as much impact as are individual State Implementation Plans (SIP) for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) attainment, and local political pressures. These regional plans and pressures are forcing many domestic marine operators and ports to get a quick education on the cause and mitigation of air pollution. Cases in point, include: The State of Alaska now fines passenger vessels that enter ports with greater than allowable stack gas opacities. One cruise operator has opted to plug into shore power when its vessels are tied up to pier. In the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach vessel operators have been asked to slow vessel speeds below normal while entering and exiting in a voluntary attempt to reduce NOx emissions. Environmentalists in the San Francisco Bay Area are applying significant political pressures to ensure proposed new ferry systems emit a minimum of air pollution. The State of Texas briefly considered stopping all industrial equipment in the Port of Houston for twelve hours per day as a method of decreasing area ozone formation. Potential NOx emissions generated during imminent channel dredging in the Port of New York and New Jersey is impeding the development of the latest State Implementation Plan. Local pressures are likely to continue to grow, federal regulations are set to become more stringent, and international conventions loom on the horizon. However, as expected in such a competitive industry, concerns are often focused on the bottom line in which cost of operations is a pre-eminent factor. It was in view of these dynamics that the federal Maritime Administration (MARAD) recently launched the Maritime Energy and Clean Emissions Program. This paper introduces the Program, including the background, evolution, and progress of each strategic goal. This paper is intended to be an overview. Attention is paid to the potential transferability and/or development of technologies not previously deployed in the U.S. marine environment. Any of the specific projects described could become the basis for a separate technical paper




Air pollution, Combustion, Dredging, Education, Engineers, Environmental protection, Laws and legislation, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Particulate emissions, Ports and harbors, Ships, Strategic planning, Texas