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Monday, December 18, 2017

USA’s EPA not required to exceed MARPOL marine engine emission standards

In a positive decision for the maritime industry, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required by the Clean Air Act (CAA) to immediately set emission standards for marine diesel engines that are higher than the standards provided for in MARPOL Annex VI.

This was the decision in an Appeal filed by the environmentalist Bluewater Network against the EPA for its limited promulgation of new emission standards for marine diesel engines. Bluewater Network sued the EPA after that agency promulgated a regulation that adopted the MARPOL standard for large marine diesel engines. Plaintiffs argued that the CAA is a technology-forcing statute, requiring the EPA to adopt standards higher than those already in existence. The court, noting that the EPA had adopted a two-step approach calling for potentially higher standards in 2007, ruled that the agency’s decision was not arbitrary.

Contact: Dragos Rauta