On behalf of its U.S. member ports, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) today praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's joint proposal with Canada to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to designate specific coastal water areas as an Emission Control Area, or ECA. Such action would reduce the allowable emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and particulate matter (PM) from ocean-going ships, most of which are registered outside of the U.S.
U.S. ports have encouraged an ECA designation for all three pollutants (SOx, NOx and PM) under the international MARPOL Annex VI treaty. "Considering that emissions from ocean-going ships are significant contributors to our national mobile-source emission inventory, it's imperative that, going forward, tighter emission controls be put in place," said Kurt Nagle, AAPA's president and CEO.
"Seaports, which support millions of jobs, deliver significant economic prosperity and serve as coastal environment stewards, are investing millions of dollars annually to significantly reduce the environmental impact on their surrounding communities and natural resources," he added.
The proposed area of the ECA includes waters adjacent to the Pacific coast, the Atlantic/Gulf coast and the eight mainHawaiian Islands. The proposed ECA would extend 200 nautical miles from the coastal baseline, except that it would not extend into marine areas subject to the sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction of any state other than the United States or Canada.