U.S. Government’s Continued Focus on Large Ship Air Emissions -
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Coast Guard (“USCG”) continue to signal interest in addressing air pollution from large ships and ocean-going vessels. Since statements made by EPA personnel in 2014, EPA, along with the USCG, has recently paved the way for increasing enforcement of sulfur oxides (“SOx”) and nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) requirements of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (“MARPOL”).
Annex VI is implemented in the U.S. through the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (“APPS”). Annex VI, APPS and implementing regulations promulgated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act, impose engine-based and fuel-based standards that apply to U.S. flagged ships wherever located, and to non-U.S. flagged ships operating in U.S. waters. The EPA and USCG will enforce these requirements pursuant to authority under APPS, the Clean Air Act and a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the EPA and USCG setting forth the terms by which the EPA and USCG will mutually cooperate in enforcement and implementation. In 2019, EPA and USCG revised the protocol for referrals of violations to include more detailed procedures, and may signal increased focus on enforcement. The protocol describes the USCG’s procedure for determining deficiencies or violations, referrals to the EPA, and when deemed necessary, referrals to the Department of Justice.
Please see Newsletter below for more information.