The California Assembly
on Wednesday passed a resolution to support the creation of a new standard for
oceangoing vessel emissions within 200 miles of the California coast.
introduced by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) with more than 50
Assembly co-authors and approved 62-6, supports the establishment of a
geographic zone along North America's coastlines where mandatory measures
regarding emissions from ships would prevent, reduce, and control air pollution
from nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions.
In addition to
environmental and air quality benefits, the creation of a North American
[Emissions Control Area] is a positive step for Californias economy, as it will
improve the competitive standing of Californias ports by applying the same
environmental standards to other ports in the United States and Canada that are
currently only in place in California, said John McLaurin, president of the
Pacific Merchant Shipping Association which represents more than 90 percent of
the shipping lines and terminal operators servicing the United States West
Early last year, US and
Canadian officials submitted a proposal to the International Maritime
Organization, which sets international maritime law, for the designation of an
Emission Control Area around their coastlines in which stringent international
emission controls would apply to ocean-going ships.
The proposed ECA would
include waters adjacent to the Pacific coast, the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and
the eight main Hawaiian Islands. The proposed ECA would extend 200 nautical
miles from the coastal baseline. The ECA, however, would not extend into any
waters or land claimed by countries other than the US and Canada.
ECAs also feature more
stringent emissions requirements for oceangoing vessels. According to the
federal government, ECA standards could cut sulfur in vessel fuel by 98%, and
achieve reductions of nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, particulate matter by 85
percent, and sulfur oxides by 95 percent, relative to current vessel emission