Photo of ship docked at a port.Diesel engines power almost all port activities, from the shipping vessels to cargo-handling equipment to the trains and trucks that move goods in and out of marine terminals. Ports therefore become concentrated sources of diesel emissions. With growth in cruise ship calls, container freight volumes, and land-side businesses such as fish processing, the need to work with port authorities and terminal operators to reduce diesel emissions has never been stronger.

Reducing Diesel Emissions from Port Operations

Through its Ports Initiative, EPA explores effectively partnering with port stakeholders to identify opportunities and find solutions that create more sustainable ports systems by

  • encouraging environmental progress at ports and reducing climate risk;
  • supporting operational and technological improvements to increase efficiency;
  • improving community health and air quality; and
  • encouraging sustainable economic development that supports our economy and jobs.

Regional collaborations between industry and government agencies to reduce emissions from marine vessels and port operations include:

  • The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey and its partners developed a Clean Air Strategy for the Port of NY and NJ which lays out actions that the Port and industry stakeholders can take to reduce diesel and greenhouse (GHG) emissions in advance of regulations. PANYNJ is also conducting a dray truck replacement project.
  • At the New York Container Terminal, installing regenerating diesel particulate filters on cargo handling equipment and piloting idle reduction technology on locomotives.
  • At Boston’s MassPort Conley Container Terminal, retrofitting yard and cargo-handling equipment, using ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), systematically acquiring new equipment with maximum-efficiency engines, providing shore power for fishing vessels, and replacing dray trucks.
  • NEDC Marine Repower Guide

New NEDC Marine Repower Guide released.
The Northeast Diesel Collaborative is providing this Marine Repower Guide (beta version) to assist marine vessel operators and potential grantees in making the decision to repower commercial marine Category 1 or 2 vessels. The document outlines information needed about the vessel's operations, federal requirements, and how to calculate emission reductions and cost-effectiveness. The document also provides case studies and resources to help guide you through your decision to repower.

» Vew the guide here

NEDC Ports and Goods Movement Workgroup

The NEDC Ports and Goods Movement Workgroup is a diverse public/private collaborative that meets bimonthly via conference call to learn about, discuss and promote effective and efficient strategies for reducing emissions and increasing sustainability for ports in the Northeast, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

To get involved with the Ports Workgroup, please contact Abby Swaine [swaine.abby@epa.gov] or Reema Loutan [loutan.reema@epa.gov].

» Learn more about the NEDC Ports Workgroup

Federal Regulations

Photo from http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/ndc/veslchar/veslchar.htmEmission Control Area
On March 26, 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) designating specific portions of U.S., Canadian and French waters as an Emission Control Area (ECA). The proposal for ECA designation was introduced by the U.S. and Canada, reflecting common interests, shared geography and interrelated economies. In July 2009, France joined as a co-proposer on behalf of its island territories of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, which form an archipelago off the coast of Newfoundland. Allowing for the lead time associated with the IMO process, the North American ECA will become enforceable in August 2012. For more info please click here.

On July 15, 2011, the IMO officially designated waters around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as an area in which stringent international emission standards will apply to ships. For this area, the effective date of the first-phase fuel sulfur standard is 2014, and the second phase begins in 2015. Stringent NOx engine standards begin in 2016. For more information on the U.S. Caribbean ECA, please click here.

EPA Ocean-Going Vessel Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
EPA Finalizes More Stringent Standards for Control of Emissions from New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines at or Above 30 Liters per Cylinder: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adopting more stringent exhaust emission standards for large marine diesel engines as part of a coordinated strategy to address emissions from all ships that affect U.S. air quality. EPA's coordinated strategy includes Clean Air Act standards, as well as implementation of the international standards for marine engines and their fuels contained in Annex VI to the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (a treaty called MARPOL). The strategy also includes designation of U.S. coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA) through an amendment to MARPOL Annex VI. By 2030, this coordinated strategy is expected to reduce annual emissions of NOx in the United States by about 1.2 million tons and PM emissions by about 143,000 tons. For more information on the final rule, click here.

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