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March 31, 2009

U.S. and Canada seek super ECA

The U.S. and Canada have submitted a joint proposal to the IMO to create an emissions control area (ECA) around the coasts of both nations. You can read the submission (which is very comprehensive) HERE.

The simple version of things, provided in an EPA press release, is that "the creation of an ECA would save up to 8,300 American and Canadian lives every year by 2020 by imposing stricter standards on oil tankers and other large ships that spew harmful emissions into the air near coastal communities where tens of millions of Americans live, work, play and learn. The United States is proposing a 230-mile buffer zone around the nation's coastline in order to provide air quality benefits as far inland as Kansas."

"Under this program," says the EPA, "large ships such as oil tankers and cargo ships that operate in ECAs will face stricter emissions standards designed to reduce the threat they pose to human health and the environment. These standards will cut sulfur in fuel by 98 percent, particulate matter emissions by 85 percent, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent from the current global requirements."

"To achieve these reductions," says EPA, "ships must use fuel with no more than 1,000 parts per million sulfur beginning in 2015, and new ships must used advanced emission control technologies beginning in 2016."

ECAs were created by the revised Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) of the MARPOL convention, adopted (along with the revised NOx Technical Code 2008) by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee in October 2008, with an entry into force date of July 1, 2010.

The revised MARPOL Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) and the revised NOx Technical Code 2008 were adopted by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee in October 2008, with an entry into force date of 1 July 2010.

IMO has now published the 228 page "Revised MARPOL Annex VI & NOx Technical Code 2008 (2009 Edition)." The book includes:

the revised MARPOL Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships), including emission limits and operational requirements;

the NOx Technical Code 2008, which is made mandatory under MARPOL Annex VI for all marine diesel engines with a power output of 130 kW or more, and provides the requirements for the testing, survey and certification of marine diesel engines;

interim guidelines for application of the NOx Technical Code 2008; and

standard specifications for shipboard incinerators.

It is available from authorized distributors of IMO publications, and via IMO's online bookshop


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