INTERTANKO COMMENTS TO THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) PROPOSED RULE ON SHIPS’ AIR EMISSIONS

This week INTERTANKO submitted its comments to the EPA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to regulate NOx emissions from Category 3 engines (engines with an individual cylinder capacity of 30 litres and above). 

 

Although the EPA indicates that MARPOL Annex VI and the NPRM for the Category 3 engine requirements would be essentially the same, a number of significant differences between the Annex VI controls and those proposed under the NPRM have been identified. These differences are mainly due to the NPRM standards for testing, control and monitoring of compliance.  The NPRM is also inviting public support that the suggested standards should not only apply to US flag ships but also cover all ships that operate within 175 nautical miles from the shore.

 

INTERTANKO’s submission is a thorough analysis of this complex proposed regulation and basically calls for uniformity of standards at international level and avoidance of fragmented legislation.  It also invites EPA/US to:

 

- immediately implement MARPOL Annex VI since new buildings on or after 1st January 2000 already comply with new standards

- not alter Annex VI’s requirements and avoid developing unilateral Requirements for Foreign Vessels

- avoid establishing separate standards for US vessels

- refrain from adopting the proposed Tier 2 standards on unilateral basis and within a time-frame with which technology cannot cope

- exempt engines used for emergency and lifesaving apparatus, etc.

 

The comments also provide clear reasons why the Testing Procedures under MARPOL Annex VI should not be altered and why the NPRM suggestions are not practical.

 

INTERTANKO has been also the coordinator of a second response to the NPRM, which was jointly submitted by an industry coalition.  This second submission will be available on the INTERTANKO web site from 23 July 2002.

 

INTERTANKO remains concerned about a pending lawsuit filed by the Bluewater Network, which resulted in the EPA entering into a settlement agreement. This settlement agreement led to this NPRM, which alters the EPA’s initial determination to rely on Annex VI’s requirements instead of developing U.S.-only standards. The EPA has entered into a settlement agreement, which includes periodic reporting, which subverts the rights and protections provided in the Administrative Procedures Act. Specifically, the lawsuit has allowed special interests to reopen a completed rulemaking and determine the timing and substance of the proposed requirements.

 

INTERTANKO intends to monitor the development of the final rule carefully and is prepared to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that the EPA develops a final rule, which is based on factual information, applicable statutory provisions, consistent with past determinations, and has the best interests of the United States and the environment. For more information, please contact Dragos Rauta, e-mail: dragos.rauta@intertanko.com