12 December 2005

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted two new regulations to control emissions from goods movement activities: (1) a rule to reduce emissions from port cargo handling equipment—including cranes, fork lifts, tractors, and yard trucks—and (2) a fuel quality rule for auxiliary engines used on oceangoing ships—such as cargo ships, cruise liners and other large vessels—that enter state ports. Both rules are the first of their kind in the USA.

The first rule applies to mobile cargo handling equipment that operates at ports and intermodal rail yards. Effective 1 January 2007, the regulation calls for the replacement or retrofit of existing engines with ones that use Best Available Control Technology (BACT), to reach 2007/2010 on-road or Tier 4 nonroad emission standards.

The ship rule applies to auxiliary diesel engines and diesel-electric engines operated on oceangoing vessels located within California waters, 24 nautical miles of the coast. The regulation requires the use of marine diesel fuels of reduced sulfur content:

  • 0.5% sulfur limit effective 1 January 2007,
  • 0.1% sulfur limit effective 1 January 2010.

For vessels that are now using heavy fuel oil in their auxiliary engines (some 75% of all ships), compliance with this measure will result in an estimated 75% reduction in diesel PM, 80% reduction in SOx, and 6% reduction in NOx. Auxiliary engines provide electric power which is used to provide lighting, cooling and on-board power for navigation equipment. Some vessels, principally cruise ships, also use these engines to run large electric motors that propel the vessel.

California ARB news release
ARB International Goods Movement page
ARB presentation: cargo handling equipment
ARB presentation: ships