CARB fines shippers $53,000 for using bunker fuel on California coast

| 9/2/2011

Truckers who visit ports on California’s pacific coast have wondered why more major shipping companies aren’t punished for polluting the air with dirty bunker fuel, while trucks are required to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel.

The truth is, CARB does fine shippers who burn bunker fuel.

The latest to be cited: Mediterranean Shipping Co. and the Chipolbrok Shipping Co., for using bunker fuel “well within” the 24-mile limit from the coast. Each company burned the bunker fuel before docking at the Port of Long Beach in November 2010, CARB says.

Each company will pay $53,000 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and follow all fuel switchover requirements.

CARB says it inspects 250 ship inspections annually, checking on fuel usage, record-keeping and other compliance requirements.

“Cargo vessels can burn some of the dirtiest fuels on the planet, and we need to make sure that their engine emissions don’t reach our coast,” said CARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden, according to a news release. “Our fuel regulation is vitally important because it requires shippers to switch to cleaner-burning fuels that help fight air pollution in our coastal regions and port communities.”