The District’s work to reduce marine shipping emissions started with the 1994 Clean Air Plan, which identified ships in the Santa Barbara Channel as a large source of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. NOx emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. The District Board has taken multiple other actions relating to marine shipping activities, as shown in the timeline below.
|Marine Shipping Related Actions by District Board|
|November 1994||Board approves 1994 Clean Air Plan, which identifies marine shipping as a large source of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).|
|January 1995||Board approves letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging action on marine shipping.|
|October 1999||Board 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 vessels.|
|July 2001||Board approves international marine vessel resolution. See Board letter.|
|February 2002||Board receives update on marine shipping emissions. See Board letter.|
|April 2002||Board receives update on District efforts to reduce emissions from marine shipping activities. See Board letter.|
|June 2002||Board receives update on the Marine Shipping Retrofit Project (MSRP) and comments on EPA marine engine rulemaking. See comment letter.|
|January 2003||Board 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 2003||Board receives update on MSRP efforts and approves $100k for MSRP. See Board letter.|
|October 2006||Board authorizes the in-use emission testing of the ocean-going vessel retrofitted with emissions control technologies using partner contributions and up to $22,500 of District funds. See Board letter.|
|March 2007||Board 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. See Board letter.|
|December 2007||Board 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. See “Legal Actions” section below.|
|October 2010||Board receives an update on the U.S. Coast Guard Port Access Route Study and the California Air Resources Board Ocean-Going Vessels Fuel Regulation. See presentation.|
|March 2012||Board receives an update on marine shipping activities at the District. See presentation.|
|August 2012||Board receives report and provides policy direction on the District’s initiative to incentivize reduction of ship speeds off the California Coast. See Board letter, District’s comment letter and other letters of support, and presentation.|
|March 2013||Board receives presentation on recent marine shipping developments and authorizes chair to sign a letter of support for use of Cap-and-Trade auction funds for a vessel speed reduction incentive program along the California coast.|
|June 2013||Received an update on a proposal by the IMO to delay implementation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for new ship engines in Emission Control Areas until 2021, and authorized Chair to sign a letter encouraging vigorous efforts by the U.S. Delegation to urge the IMO to retain the original deadline of 2016. (See memo and presentation)|
- On March 7, 2013, the District submitted a proposal for a vessel speed reduction incentive initiative to the California Air Resources Board, and on April 23, the District submitted a letter calling for inclusion of the initiative in the final Investment Plan. See April 23, 2013 letter, plus letters of support from other agencies, businesses, and organizations.
- June 8, 2012 letter suggesting to CARB that Cap-and-Trade auction revenues be used as incentives for vessel speed reduction.
- See 2012 comment letters posted on the CARB web page from program partners such as the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Environmental Defense Center, Ocean Conservancy, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- June 2, 2010 letter submitting comments on the U.S. Coast Guard Port Access Route Study examining location of shipping lanes off the coast of Santa Barbara County and areas to the south.
- August 26, 2009 letter submitting comments on the EPA proposal for controlling emissions from new marine compression-ignition engines at or above 30 liters per cylinder.
- January 29, 2009 letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation submitting comments on the Maritime Administration’s Interim Final Rule on America’s Marine Highway Program.
- September 18, 2008 letter to California Air Resources Board submitting comments on CARB’s proposed Marine Vessel Speed Reduction Program.
- February 22, 2008 letter submitting comments on the EPA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Control Emissions from New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines at or Above 30 Liters per Cylinder.
- December 21, 2007 letter to EPA in support of of the United States position on proposed amendments to the air pollution regulations in Annex VI of the MARPOL convention. (Letter is from Twenty Members of the United States West Coast Collaborative Marine Vessel and Ports Sector, including APCD.)
- November 28, 2007 letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, and letter to Representative Lois Capps, in support of HR 802, Marine Pollution Prevention Act.
- May 25, 2007 letter to Senator Barbara Boxer and letter to Congresswoman Hilda Solis in support of the Marine Vessel Emissions Reduction Act of 2007.
- May 4, 2007 letter from CAPCOA (California Air Pollution Control Officers Association) to EPA and May 8, 2007 letter from the District with comments on EPA change in regulatory deadline for rulemaking on marine engines.
- March 23, 2007 letter to Alan Lowenthal, California State Senate in support of Senate Bill 974 – Financing of Port Congestion Relief and Port Mitigation Relief.
- November 9, 2006 to CARB on the Alternative Compliance Plan included for auxiliary engines in the ATCM.
- May 9, 2006 to Senator Commerce Committee to support favorable and expeditious processing of the implementation language required for US ratification of Annex VI, “Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships” of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) MARPOL.
- November 18, 2005 letter to CARB on effort to consider the adoption of proposed regulations to reduce emissions from auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operated on ocean-going vessels within California waters and 24 nautical miles of California.
- November 4, 2005 letter to Governor Schwarzenegger re: Goods Movement.
- August 24, 2004 APCD comments to the EPA regarding Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from New Locomotive Engines and New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines Less Than 30 Liters per Cylinder.
- August 19, 2004 Comments on California Resource Agency’s draft “California Ocean Resources Management: A Strategy for Action.”
- June 6, 2002 letter to EPA with comments on the draft rule addressing large ship engines.
- November 8, 2012 presentation featuring Bruce Anderson of Starcrest Consulting Group and Carter Atkins of the Port of Los Angeles.
- August 11, 2009 presentation by Tom Murphy for the “From Shore to Sea” Lecture Series at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
- September 12, 2006 presentation by Tom Murphy to the Maritime Air Quality Working Group at the Port of Long Beach.
- July 18, 2006 presentation by Tom Murphy to Channel Islands Naturalist Corps.
- November 22, 2005 presentation by Tom Murphy to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District.
- September 21, 2005 presentation by Tom Murphy to the local chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association.
- April 21, 2004 presentation by Tom Murphy at the West Coast Region Conference on Marine Port Air Quality Impacts, Seattle, Washington.
Articles, Papers and Studies
- “Reducing Pollution from Marine Shipping” article in District Summer 2012 newsletter, featuring whale researcher John Calambokidis.
- “Maersk Representative Meets with District” article in District Winter 2012 newsletter.
- “Coast Guard Issues Study of Shipping Lanes” article in District Fall 2011 newsletter.
- Port Access Route Study issued by the U.S. Coast Guard in September 2011.
- “Shipping Pollution Update: Reducing Ship Speed” article in District Summer 2011 newsletter.
- “Major Milestone Reached in Cutting Shipping Emissions” article in District Spring 2010 newsletter.
- “Air Pollution Grows as Vessel Regulations Flounder,” by Terry Dressler, in the Santa Barbara Independent May 17, 2007.
- “Next Challenge on the Horizon: Air Pollution Emissions from Ships,” by Terry Dressler, Tom Murphy, and Anthony Fournier, August 2006.
- “Controlling Air Emissions from Marine Vessels: Problems and Opportunities,” by Anthony Fournier, and supported by the University of California Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation.
- “The Need to Reduce Marine Shipping Emissions: A Santa Barbara County Case Study,” by Tom Murphy, Ray McCaffrey, and Kathy Patton for the 2003 Air & Waste Management Association Conference.
- Articles in District’s On the Air Newsletter (see July 2001, January 2002, July 2002, and Fall 2003).
- Briefing paper for January 2002 meetings with EPA and U.S. Maritime Administration officials, in connection with Workshop on Maritime Energy and Clean Emissions conference sponsored by the USEPA, the U.S. Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
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.