The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff has announced that, starting in May 2021, it will begin additional analysis of fuel samples taken during the inspection of ocean-going ships to verify compliance with the local environmental regulations.
According to the Standard Club, the OGV Fuel Regulation requires the use of marine distillate grade fuel (marine gas oil or marine diesel oil) with a maximum sulfur level of 0.1% while operating within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. Compliance via scrubbers is not allowed.
While ships’ fuel may indeed meet the sulphur limits of both International and California regulations, the fuel may still fail to comply with the standards for distillate grade fuel, as required by California law.
According to studies, the use of distillate fuel vs. lower sulphur residual grade fuel considerably reduces the formation of directly emitted particulate from diesel engines.
As a result, CARB staff will perform additional analysis of the collected fuel samples in accordance with ISO 8217 which will be used to determine whether the fuel meets the specifications of distillate grade fuel.
Operators are reminded of the importance of complying with International, national and California fuel regulations to avoid significant fines from authorities.