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EPA aids reduction of ozone emissions in Houston

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded nearly $800,000 to the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) to reduce emissions from non-road equipment and marine vessels. The council will distribute the funds to equipment operators to upgrade to cleaner-burning, more efficient engines. With the help of efforts such as the HGAC's Clean Marine and Nonroad Program, the Houston area has seen its air quality improve over the last several decades, despite a growing population. The program will use this EPA grant to provide competitive sub-grants to equipment operators to help further curb emissions that form ground-level ozone. Ozone levels in the Houston area have dropped significantly since the mid-1980s, when 8-hour average levels stayed around 120 parts per billion. Since that time, hard work and cooperation from local governments, businesses, and citizens have helped bring 8-hour average levels to around 80 parts per billion in the last few years. Efforts such as the HGAC's clean diesel program will help the area keep improving to attain the current health-based standard of 75 parts per billion. Source: EPAIn the start, I was frank with you propecia before and after has changed my being. It has become much more fun, and now I have ...

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US EPA issues FAQs on vessel discharges under VGP

The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) second Vessel General Permit (VGP or Permit) for discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels took effect on 19 December 2013. The second Vessel General Permit was finalized on March 28, 2013 and  replace the 2008 VGP when it expired last December The US EPA has recenlty developed by staff within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Wastewater Management frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address issues commonly raised to EPA regarding the VGP. What changes are in the 2013 VGP? For the first time, the 2013 VGP contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels. The 2013 VGP also contains more stringent effluent limits for oil to sea interfaces and exhaust gas scrubber washwater, which will improve environmental protection of U.S. waters. EPA has also improved the efficiency of several of the VGP's administrative requirements, including allowing electronic recordkeeping, requiring an annual report in lieu of the one-time report and annual noncompliance report, and requiring small vessel owners and/or operators to obtain coverage under the VGP by completing and agreeing to the terms of a Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection form.   FAQs on 2013 VGP do not substitute for provisions ...

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ICS publishes Annual Review 2014

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Annual Review of maritime policy and regulatory developments in advance of its Annual General Meeting. The 2014 Annual Review covers the wide-ranging scope of ICS's activities as the world's principal international trade association for ship operators, and can now be downloaded free of charge from the ICS website (www.ics-shipping.org/docs/annualreview2014). Printed copies are being distributed via ICS's 34 member national shipowners' associations, which collectively represent all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet at international regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The 2014 ICS Annual Review focuses on a number of key issues, including: issues relating to the implementation of new IMO requirements for low sulphur fuel in Emissions Control Areas from January 2015; outstanding concerns surrounding the implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention; enforcement of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC); and developments with respect to piracy and hostage taking. In his introduction to the Review, ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka, focuses in particular on the need for governments to address questions regarding the implementation of impending environmental regulations: "The shipping industry is about to invest billions of dollars ...

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Funding to clean up diesel engines nationwide by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $9 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects to reduce diesel pollution and emissions exposure from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines. The funding comes from EPA's Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) and will target the most cost-effective projects and fleets operating in areas designated as poor air quality areas. Diesel engines are extremely efficient but emit air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and even premature death. Under this funding, EPA anticipates awarding between 10 and 20 assistance agreements. Various strategies are eligible for achieving diesel emission reductions, such as installing verified exhaust control and idle reduction devices, and vehicle and engine replacement. Projects may include school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and other diesel engines. Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, it has improved air quality and provided critical health benefits by reducing hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution and saving millions of gallons of fuel. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates ...

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EPA to work with ports for environmental performance improvement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting the "Advancing Sustainable Ports" summit to mark the kickoff of a new EPA initiative to recognize ports that take action to improve environmental performance. EPA will also award $4.2 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects at six U.S. ports. "Ports are the main gateway for U.S. trade and are critical to our country's economic growth, yet the communities surrounding ports face serious environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Today we demonstrate that through collaboration and innovation we can achieve the goals of economic growth and environmental stewardship." Most of the country's busiest ports are located in or near large metropolitan areas and, as a result, people in nearby communities can be exposed to high levels of pollution. For example, diesel powered port equipment can seriously impact air quality for nearby residents and generate substantial greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions. Implementing clean air strategies at ports will reduce emissions and provide health benefits from improved air quality for workers and families who live nearby. Over the past eight months, EPA has led a national conversation on ports, which brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from community organizations, port ...

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Improved weather enables cleanup operations near BP refinery

Weather conditions improved enabling cleanup operations and assessment activities to progress near the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Ind. High winds and heavy surf created unsafe conditions for contractors and assessment team personnel both Friday and Saturday, suspending activities. A Coast Guard helicopter returning from a separate mission conducted an overflight assessment of the area and did not observe any oil sheen on the water. The assessment team, comprised of representatives from the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, and contractors from BP, resumed assessing the southeast rocky wall of the cove near the refinery to ensure remaining small areas of oiled pebbles were removed by cleanup crews. The assessment team also reinspected the beach area of the cove to ensure that no oil remnants had washed ashore as a result of heavy surf during the past two days. The walkthrough found no visible oil. With the improved surf conditions, members of the assessment team were able to get underway on a BP Fire Department boat to conduct a comprehensive survey of the path of discharge in search of potentially submerged oil. Other members waded into the water closer to shore also conducting the submerged oil survey. After taking more ...

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DNV GL makes EAL service available

DNV GL has responded to regulations mandating the use in US waters of environmentally friendly and quickly degradable lubricants in any interfaces where oil can be discharged into the water with a new service designed to smooth adherence to the new requirements. The EAL Report Service helps ship operators to meet with the new rules without the need for extensive outlays, and provides valuable feedback on areas of concern. The "Vessel General Permit" (VGP) framework, which came into effect in December 2013 stipulates that biologically degradable oils, or "Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants" (EAL), must be used at all oil to sea interfaces, where technically feasible. All ships with a total length of 24 meters or more that enter US waters must observe the new environmental standard. Numerous components in the underwater area of a ship are impacted by the new rules. This includes the stern tube seal, as well as mechanical components in the propeller, bow thrusters, the rudder shaft, as well as other underwater equipment. "A number of questions arise here for ship operators," says Dr Jörg Lampe, Risk & Safety, Systems Engineering at DNV GL. "Which lubricants are allowed to be used and are there technical challenges involved in ...

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Rod Jones, testifies before the U.S. Congress about New EPA Maritime Fuel Rule

Congressional leaders heard Tuesday from shipping industry representatives Rod Jones, President and CEO of the CSL Group and Bill Terry, President and CEO of Eagle Rock Aggregates, about a well-intentioned new shipping fuel requirement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), set to take effect in 2015, whose flawed design is likely to spur increased onshore air pollution and higher shipping costs, as well as increased shipping prices for companies reliant on the short sea shipping industry. Mr. Jones and Mr. Terry testified in person and via written statement as part of the "Maritime Transportation Regulations: Impacts on Safety, Security, Jobs and the Environment," hearing convened by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Mr. Jones also presented an alternative proposal to the Committee that achieves the same environmental goals as the new regulation without the same prohibitive costs. The new rule in question seeks to limit sulfur emissions from shipping vessels traveling within the 200 nautical mile (nm) boundary of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) by requiring the use of a highly expensive, low-sulfur fuel. But according to the two executives, the EPA didn't consider the short sea shipping industry, whose ...

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EPA maritime fuel regulation to increase air pollution

A new well-intentioned maritime fuel regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to crowd roads and increase onshore air pollution, maintain shipping industry leaders Rod Jones and Bill Terry, President and CEO of the CSL Group and of Eagle Rock Aggregates, respectively. They explain that the rule requires the use of high-cost, ultra-low sulfur fuels in ships operating within the 200 nautical mile (nm) boundary of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA). Jones and Terry will offer testimony at the Congressional hearing on EPA's new fuel standard for ships operating inside of the ECA: "Maritime Transportation Regulations: Impacts on Safety, Security, Jobs and the Environment" on Tuesday, March 4, at 10:00 am before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation. Mr. Jones' CSL Group operates throughout the Americas and globally, specializing in short sea shipping, which transports cargo along coastal routes, usually within a few dozen miles of shore. Eagle Rock Aggregates, based in Richmond, California, relies on short sea shipping to transport the essential building materials it produces, used for the construction of roadways and buildings. His testimony highlights concerns that the EPA failed to consider all sectors of ...

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Guidance regarding non- availability of compliant fuel

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has issued Marine Safety Advisory No 7-14 with guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This guidance addresses how the US government will implement fuel oil availability provisions for ship owners. For the operators unable to obtain fuel oil that meets the fuel oil sulfur standards applicable to ships operating in waters off of the coast of North America, Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 04/2013 which provides information on reporting when compliant fuel is unavailable. Interim Guidance on the Non-Availability of Compliant Fuel Oil for the North American  Emission Control Area Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) has been in effect in the United States since January 8, 2009. MARPOL Annex VI is implemented in the United States through the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). Under the authority of APPS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA), in consultation with the United States Coast Guard, has promulgated regulations which incorporate by reference the full text of MARPOL Annex VI. See 40 C.F.R. § 1043.100(a)(1). Compliance with the MARPOL Annex VI air emission standards, including the fuel oil sulfur standards, will significantly reduce emissions from foreign and domestic vessels that affect US air ...

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