Local Impacts of Marine Shipping  |  Local Studies & Actions |  State/National/ International Initiatives |  Related Downloads/Links |  Past Activities

This page lists activities from the years up to and including 2007. See other links above for more recent activities.

Board Actions
Comment Letters
Legal Actions
Articles, Papers and Studies
Retrofit Project

Board Actions

Marine Shipping Related Actions by District Board

November 2, 1994Board approves 1994 Clean Air Plan, which identifies marine shipping as large source of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
January 26, 1995Board approves letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging action on marine shipping.
October 21, 1999Board approves letter to EPA calling on the agency to take a leadership role with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to urge the IMO to pursue emission reductions from marine vessles.
July 2001Board approves international marine vessel resolution, see Board letter.
November 2001Board adopts 2001 Clean Air Plan (download from this page; see Chapter 6).
February 2002Board receives update on marine shipping emissions.See Board letter.
April 2002Board receives update on District efforts to reduce emissions from marine shipping activities.See Board letter.
June 2002Board receives update on the Marine Shipping Retrofit Project (MSRP) and comments on EPA marine engine rulemaking. See comment letter.
January 2003Board Chair signs letters to the Chair and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging ratification of IMO Annex VI, see Board letter.
October 2003Board receives update on MSRP efforts and approves $100k for MSRP, see Board letter.
December 2004Board adopts 2004 Clean Air Plan (view and download from this page on this site, see Chapter 6 for information on marine shipping emissions).
August 2006Board approves District role as collector and distributor of emissions testing funds for a project demonstrating emission control retrofit technologies on an ocean-going vessel. See Board letter.
October 2006Board authorizes the District Director to execute agreements for the in-use emission testing of an ocean-going vessel retrofitted with emissions control technologies using partner contributions and up to $22,500 of District Innovative Technology Group funds. See Board letter.
March 2007Board adopted a resolution recognizing the magnitude of, and the projected growth in, international marine vessel emissions, and directed the Air Pollution Control Officer to take necessary actions to mitigate emissions from this source. Download letter and resolution (PDF file).
August 2007Board adopts 2007 Clean Air Plan (view and download from this page, see Chapter 6).
October 2007Board approves letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filing notice of intent to sue over EPA’s failure to regulate large ships.
December 2007Board directs the Air Pollution Control Officer and APCD Counsel to sue EPA for failure to adopt standards regulating air pollution from Category 3 marine vessels.

 Comment Letters

Legal Actions

The District was a party in two lawsuits challenging the EPA’s failure to adopt standards for the control of air pollution from Category 3 marine vessel diesel engines pursuant to Section 213 of the federal Clean Air Act.

The first lawsuit was filed in District Court for the District of Columbia and charged that EPA had failed to take “final action” to adopt standards for Category 3 marine vessels by the April 23, 2007 deadline. The District’s suit was consolidated with similar suits filed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Friends of the Earth. EPA’s defense was to claim that it did take final action when it adopted a rule extending its deadline to December 17, 2009 (“Deferral Rule”). EPA argued the Deferral Rule rendered this suit moot and urged it be dismissed. Oral argument was heard on EPA’s motion to dismiss by Judge Collier on April 2, 2008. In light of the Court of Appeal proceedings (see below), however, Judge Collier issued a Stay Order, stating that regardless of what decision she might reach on this case, the ultimate decision was up to the Court of Appeal.

The same 3 parties also filed individual lawsuits in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. These suits had to be filed no later than January 31, 2008 because the statute of limitations would have otherwise barred any challenge to the Deferral Rule. The three suits were consolidated by the Court of Appeal and ran parallel to the District Court action. This case challenges EPA’s adoption of the Deferral Rule as an abuse of discretion by charging the EPA had no authority to give itself more time to meet a deadline set by Congress. This suit also charges that EPA’s decision was not supported by evidence in the record.

Download February 22, 2008 filing in U.S. District Court (PDF file) by the District, Friends of the Earth, and South Coast Air Quality Management District .


 Articles, Papers and Studies

Marine Shipping Retrofit Project

APL SINGAPORE Project Overview
Emission Control Technologies
Event Onboard Dec. 4, 2006
APCD Visit 10-15-07 with photos

Note: Because of equipment malfunctions, emissions testing conducted in 2007 did not provide reliable results.


The Maritime Working Group, formed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to discuss maritime air quality issues, developed a marine shipping retrofit program. Participants in the working group includes representatives from the District and other California air districts, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), environmental organizations, port authorities, ship owner-operators, large engine manufacturers, and emission-control technology companies.

The District and several other members of the group began with a goal of developing a fund with an initial target of $1 million to implement and test retrofit strategies and technologies on vessels that operate in California waters. The immediate objective was to reduce emissions from two or three ships transiting the area, using cost-effective emission reduction technologies that can be adapted for use by other ships. In October of 2003, The District’s Board approved allocating $100,000 towards the retrofit program (download the Board letter here). The long-term goal was to document the emission reduction technologies and other information gained from the implementation phase in order to promote additional programs, projects, and potential incentives to reduce marine shipping emissions.

The five principal objectives of the program were as follows:

  1. Develop an understanding of ship activities and emissions.
  2. Evaluate potential control technologies.
  3. Develop partnerships and funding mechanisms.
  4. Implement retrofit technologies.
  5. Document results.

APL SINGAPORE Project Overview

The group evaluated several control technologies, and worked with ship owners/ operators to assess the possibility of retrofitting a ship(s) with emission control technologies. The group worked with APL to demonstrate the feasibility of retrofitting the ocean-going vessel the APL SINGAPORE. Below is information on: vessel specifics, the emission control technologies, funding, and the 12/4/06 APL media event, as well as links to the project partner’s websites.

Project Specifics

Vessel Information

Vessel NameAPL Singapore
Ship typePost-Panamax Container ship
FlagUnited States
Gross Tonnage64,502
TEU Capacity5,108 TEU
Length/Breadth/Depth863′ / 131′ / 66′

Engine Information

EngineMAN B&W
Type2-Stroke Engine
Power66,398 hp

Source: http://www.sailors.org

The APL SINGAPORE at that time operated on APL’s PS2 (Asia to North America) route. The eastbound and westbound routes are shown below. For more information on APL routes see: http://www.apl.com/routes/

Emission Control Technologies

Two emission control technologies wereinstalled on the main engine of the APL SINGAPORE for use on California calls: a fuel/ water emulsion system and slide-valves. Water in fuel emulsion is the process of introducing water into the fuel prior to injection into the combustion cylinder. Introducing water into the combustion cylinder reduces the maximum peak combustion temperature and the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The in-cylinder evaporation of the water also improves the atomization of the fuel causing it to burn more completely. This system was installed and connected to the ship’s main engine and was expected to yield a 1% reduction in NOx for every 1% concentration of water in the emulsion. Different concentrations of water were tested to determine the emulsion level that best reduces emissions. NOx reductions up to 25% are expected from this control technology.

Particulate Matter (PM) is a product of incomplete combustion, and un-burnt fuel; therefore the optimization of the fuel injection system was expected to result in the reduction of fuel consumption and a reduction of PM emissions. Slide valves were installed on the vessel’s main engine and differ from conventional valves in their spray patterns that are designed to reduce the dripping of fuel from the injector into the combustion zone post injection. The slide valves were expected to reduce PM emissions by about 25%.


The funding for this project came from a number of different agencies. In 2005, the District supported an application by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) for funding from the CARB Multi-district Carl Moyer funding program. The application was successful in securing grant funds that, when combined with the EPA contribution covered the purchase and installation of the control technology, allowing the other funds to be used to cover the emissions testing costs. In an effort to expedite the testing coordination process, District staff volunteered to accept funding from project partners and contract with the emissions testing contractors selected for the project. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in addition to the Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County air districts contributed funds towards the testing portion of the project. The installation of the emulsification equipment was completed in early 2007 and the emissions testing will begin in March/April 2007.

APL Media Event aboard the APL SINGAPORE: December 4, 2006

Speaker panel for the APL media event (from left to right): Eric Hutchingame – Sea to Sky Pollution Solutions; John Bowe – President of APL (Americas); Wayne Nastri – US EPA Region 9 Regional Administrator; Mike Zampa – APL Director of Corporate Communications (Americas); Jean Roggenkamp – BAAQMD Deputy APCO; and Dr. Wayne Miller – UC Riverside, Emissions and Fuels Manager.

View from the bridge of the APL SINGAPORE

DistrictVisit to the APL Singapore October 15, 2007

On October 15, 2007 Tom Murphy, Ron Tan and Anthony Fournier from the District visited the APL SINGAPORE at the Port of Los Angeles. The vessel had just returned from its voyage across the Pacific. On this voyage, an emissions testing crew studied the emissions characteristics of the vessel’s main engine and auxiliary engine under different conditions (including the use of emulsified fuels in the main engine).

During the visit to the ship District staff witnessed the installation of some of the slide valves that were purchased as part of the demonstration project to reduce emissions. The emission testing was to continue as the vessel departed Los Angeles for Oakland, at which point the emissions testing crew would depart the vessel. See below for pictures from the visit. Emissions test results were not finalized; because of equipment malfunctions, emissions testing conducted in 2007 did not provide reliable results

Ron Tan and Tom Murphy on the top floor of three floors of the APL Singapore’s main engine

Inspecting the water emulsification control unit

Old fuel injector removed New slide valve fuel injector installed

Photos below from emissions testing setup on the exhaust stack of the APL Singapore’s main engine

For more information…

View December 4, 2006 presentation by Eric Hutchingame of Sea to Sky Pollution Solutions here.


Selected articles on the project (not a complete listing)

Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2006, “Shipper to Test System to Cut Emissions” on the paper’s website here.

Wall Street Journal, December 2006, “Shipper APL Adapts Fuel Use For California Ports” online here.

Sustainable Shipping website, December 5, 2006, “APL turns to technology to reduce emissions,” online, here.

MarineLink, December 5, 2006, “APL Aims to Cut Emissions,” online here.


Project Participants

California air districts

Bay Area AQMD – http://www.baaqmd.gov

Ventura County APCD – http://www.vcapcd.org

San Luis Obispo County APCD – http://www.slocleanair.org

Santa Barbara County APCD – http://www.ourair.org


Port of Los Angeles – http://www.portoflosangeles.org

Port of Long Beach – http://www.polb.com

State government

California Air Resources Board – http://www.arb.ca.gov

Federal government

Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation – http://www.marad.dot.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – http://www.epa.gov

Shipping company

APL – http://www.apl.com

Emissions testing contractors and vendors

MAN Diesel – http://marine.man.eu/

University of California at Riverside, Center for Environmental Research & Technology (C-CERT) – http://www.cert.ucr.edu

Sea to Sky Pollution Solutions – http://www.wifeondemand.com