California Air Resources Board proposes its own "fuel standard" rules for all engines

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has posted the following notice for the July 24-25, 2008 Public Hearing: "Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of a Regulation to Reduce Diesel Particulate Matter (diesel PM), Particulate Matter (PM), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and Sulfur Oxides (SOx) by Requiring the
Use of Low Sulfur Marine Distillate Fuels in Auxiliary Diesel and Diesel-Electric Engines, Main Propulsion Diesel Engines, and Auxiliary Boilers in Ocean-Going Vessels Operating within Regulated California Waters". 

This notice and the associated "formal" regulatory materials can be accessed from its website here

This proposal would require vessel operators to ensure that their auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operating in Regulated California Waters operate with either marine gas oil (MGO) with a maximum of 1.5 percent sulphur by weight, or marine diesel oil (MDO) with a maximum of 0.5 percent sulphur by weight, beginning on the effective date of the regulation as approved by the Office of Administrative Law.

This proposal would also require vessel operators to ensure that their main engines and auxiliary boilers operating in Regulated California Waters operate with either marine gas oil (MGO), with a maximum of 1.5 percent sulphur by weight, or marine diesel oil (MDO), with a maximum of 0.5 percent sulphur by weight, beginning July 1, 2009. 

Beginning on January 1, 2012, vessel operators would need to ensure that their auxiliary diesel and diesel-electric engines, main engines and auxiliary boilers operating in Regulated California Waters operate with either MGO or MDO, each limited to a maximum of 0.1 percent sulphur by weight. Vessel operators would be allowed under specified circumstances to pay a non-compliance mitigation fee for a limited duration in lieu of meeting the in-use operational requirements above.

As can be seen, this CARB proposal is not in line with the revision of Annex VI of MARPOL which was approved by the Marine Environment Protection Committee of IMO in April and is scheduled to be adopted in October. INTERTANKO intends to attend this public hearing and urge CARB to follow the IMO implementation dates in the approved amendments to Annex VI.

It should also be noted that these regulations are being issued as a "fuel standard" rather than as an "emission standard"  When CARB issued regulations in 2006 for auxiliary engines and diesel electric main propulsion engines, it issued them an an "emission standard" and were sued by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) for not complying with the U.S. Clean Air Act. Both the District Court and the Appellate Court agreed with PMSA and enjoined CARB from enforcing those regulations. It is INTERTANKO’s opinion that CARB has issued these proposed regulations as a "fuel standard" in order to be in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

Enquiries concerning the substance of the proposed CARB regulations may be directed to Peggy Taricco, Manager of the Technical Analysis Section, at (916) 323-4882 or Bonnie Soriano, Air Resources Engineer, at (916) 327-6888.

Contact: Joe Angelo