EPA outlines new national port requirements for trains, ships

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 3/17/2008

Joining a growing trend of public officials calling for more port regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency’s leader outlined plans Friday to cut locomotive and ship emissions by 90 percent.

The new standards will apply to 2008 certified engines.

“Today EPA is fitting another important piece into the clean diesel puzzle by cleaning emissions from our trains and boats,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson during a news conference at the Port of Houston. “As more and more goods flow through our ports and railways, EPA is cutting diesel emissions at their source – keeping our nation on track toward a clean, healthy, productive tomorrow.”

The new locomotive and marine standards are meant to complement EPA’s 2007 heavy-duty diesel engine standards.

California ports in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland and Washington ports such as Seattle and Tacoma have moved to regulate trucks and ships in order to improve air quality.

Nationally, EPA projects the new standards will reduce diesel particulate matter by 27,000 tons and nitrogen oxides emissions by 80 percent or about 800,000 tons. The EPA believes the emission cuts can prevent 1,400 premature deaths and 120,000 lost workdays by 2030.

One Associated Press report quoted a clean air advocate as being pleasantly surprised by Friday’s news.

“This is a rare case of the Bush administration doing something positive on air pollution,” the AP quoted Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

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