The US EPA has been pursuing Emissions Control Areas with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Currently, there is a 200 mile ECA for sulfur oxides, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides. The EPA is looking to expand it:
The latest component of EPA’s coordinated strategy for addressing emissions from ocean-going vessels is a proposal, from August this year, to designate an Emission Control Area for the U.S. Caribbean. The United States submitted a proposal to IMO in advance of the September 2010 IMO meeting, requesting that waters around the coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands be designated as an ECA. Other EPA programs to address harmful emissions in the U.S. include voluntary partnerships under EPA’s Clean Ports USA program and implementation of a Clean Air Act rulemaking that EPA finalized last December.
These are pretty significant gains for the EPA, as it allows for the control of emissions just offshore
The other good news:
For the latest Emission Control Area (ECA) initiative for the U.S. Caribbean, EPA estimates that the total costs of improving ship emissions from current performance to ECA standards while operating in the proposed ECA will be approximately $70 million in 2020. The costs to reduce a ton of NOx, SOx and PM are estimated at $500, $1,000 and $10,000, respectively.
That’s pretty low-hanging fruit in terms of new regulation or building programs.