- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The announcement was made a day before the Tuesday release of the IMO's revised MARPOL index, which describes how the organization will regulate SOX and NOX emissions from ships.
The United States is proposing a 230-mile buffer zone around the nation's coastline. According to data from the EPA, 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 release harmful emissions into the air near coastal communities.
Under this program, 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 NOX by 80 percent from the current global requirements, according to the agency.
To achieve these reductions, 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.
The revised MARPOL Annex VI & NOX Technical Code 2008 (2009 Edition) is available for purchase from the organization's website. The IMO, a United Nations agency, will begin reviewing the U.S. proposal in July. Approval of the proposal could occur as soon as next year.
The EPA noted that it this is just one element of its offshore emissions control plan, and that other elements include adoption of a Clean Air Act rulemaking process, which the agency plans to finalize this year.