Web Alert: US EPA to conduct overflights of commercial ships to ensure compliance with MARPOL Annex VI

News & Insights 30 May 2013


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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will begin conducting overflights of the upper Chesapeake Bay for the purpose of testing the plume emissions of commercial ships.

Web Alert: US EPA to conduct overflights of commercial ships to ensure compliance with MARPOL Annex VI

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will begin conducting overflights of the upper Chesapeake Bay for the purpose of testing the plume emissions of commercial ships. The EPA is conducting the tests to ensure compliance with MARPOL Annex VI fuel standard requirements. These requirements originate from a  program that applies stringent engine emission standards and fuel sulphur limits to ships that operate in specially designated Emission Control Areas (ECA). In the US, the area is called the North American ECA and includes waters adjacent to the Pacific coast, the Atlantic/Gulf coast and the eight main Hawaiian Islands. It extends 200 nautical miles from coasts of the US, Canada and French Territories.

The quality of fuel that complies with the ECA standard will change over time. On 1 August 2012, the EPA commenced enforcements of the North America ECA, requiring ships operating in those areas to utilize fuel oil with sulphur content not in excess of 1.00 percent (10,000 ppm). On 1 January 2015, this maximum sulfur content will be further reduced to .10 percent (1,000 ppm). The recently announced overflights will soon be expanded to other areas of the ECA and signal that US officials are intensifying their enforcement efforts.

For more information regarding the North America ECA, please follow this link: http://www.epa.gov/OMS/regs/nonroad/marine/ci/420f10015.pdf

Category: Pollution

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