The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved updates to its Commercial Harbor Craft Regulation aimed at reducing emissions from harbor craft like tugboats and ferries operated near California’s coast to improve public health in nearby communities.
he amendments are expected to result in an 89% reduction of diesel soot (also known as particulate matter) and a 54% reduction in nitrogen oxides, by 2035. Additionally, they will reduce the cancer risk to over 22m residents who live near the coast and up to 50 miles inland.
Emissions from harbor craft contribute to toxic diesel emissions from coastal and port activities
…said CARB Chair Liane Randolph.
These amendments will help clean the air and protect public health, especially in port-adjacent communities that are already burdened by high levels of air pollution
…Liane Randolph added.
As informed, marine engines are regulated with Tier 1 being the earliest emission standard and Tier 4 being the newest, least-polluting standard. CARB is proposing a performance standard cleaner than Tier 4.
The current commercial harbor craft regulation accelerated the move to Tier 2 and 3 engines for select categories beginning in 2009 through 2022; the new amendments will require zero-emission options where feasible, and cleaner combustion Tier 3 and 4 engines on all other vessels. In addition, they will require the use of diesel particulate filters, which are standard equipment on new cars and trucks.
CARB informs that short run ferries, which include those traveling less than three nautical miles over a single run, will be required to be fully zero-emission by the end of 2025. New excursion vessels, such as vessels offering whale watching or dinner cruises, are also required to be capable of operating with at least 30 percent of the power from a zero‑emission source.
The amendments affect all categories of commercial harbor craft and establish the first emission standard requirements for commercial passenger fishing vessels, pilot vessels, tank barges over 400 feet, workboats and research vessels.
Accordingly, the amendments will begin phasing in starting in 2023 through the end of 2032. In addition, the Board directed staff to establish a technical working group and provide updates to the Board every two years beginning in 2024.