Air Pollution from Marine Shipping- Impacts to Santa Barbara
Page last updated
November 06, 2013.
New: A recent court decision will leave in
place international rules to reduce shipping emissions. See
this page for more information.
On June 20, 2013, the District Board
approved a letter to the U.S. Delegation to the International
Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee. The
letter calls for the U.S. delegation to make vigorous efforts to retain
the original deadline
of 2016 for institution of nitrogen oxides (NOx) standards for new ship
engines in the North American Emission Control Area. See
Board memo and
presentation for additional information.
Recently the District suggested using AB 32 Cap-and-Trade auction
funds to achieve voluntary ship speed reduction off the coast of
California. This could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and a range
of other pollutants; it could also reduce the lethality of ship strikes
on whales. On March 7, the District submitted a proposal for a
vessel speed reduction incentive initiative to the California Air
Resources Board, and on April 23, the District submitted a letter
calling for inclusion of the initiative in the final Investment Plan.
See April 23, 2013 letter,
letters supporting the idea of a vessel speed reduction initiative from other agencies, businesses, and organizations. Also see
original March 7 submittal with Implementation Plan.
The state FY 2013-2014 budget established that these funds would be
loaned to the budget, and not expended in this fiscal year; the District
is continuing to explore ways to implement this project.
The District has held a series of marine
shipping solutions meetings. A November 8, 2012 meeting featured Bruce
Anderson of Starcrest Consulting Group and Carter Atkins of the Port of Los Angeles. See
presentation (PDF). See descriptions of previous meetings in the
District newsletter featuring whale researcher John Calambokidis in the
summer 2012 issue,
and Lee Kindberg of Maersk in the
winter 2012 issue. To
be added to an email list for information about upcoming presentations,
Photo by John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research.
These web pages provide information on emissions from marine shipping
and on the District's activities in this area. Follow the links below,
and continue on this page for general information on shipping emissions
in Santa Barbara County.
Large ships are responsible for substantial amounts of worldwide emissions of black carbon, nitrogen oxides
(NOx), particulate matter, sulfur, air toxics, greenhouse gases, and substances
that deplete ozone in the upper atmosphere. Shipping emissions have been included
in District emission inventories since 1994, and the District has been working
to raise awareness of the problem and calling for voluntary and regulatory
measures to control these emissions. In Santa Barbara County, NOx emissions from ships traveling off our
coast are a concern, as NOx emissions are involved in the formation of
ozone, and the County does not attain the state ozone standard. A
continued focus on marine shipping emissions is also important to ensure the
County remains in attainment of the federal ozone standard. The
figure below (from the District's 2010 Clean Air Plan)
illustrates the size of the problem.
Santa Barbara County Sources of NOx
See "Past Activities" link above to see past District
activities calling for regulations in this area.Recently, several regulations have been issued that will reduce
these emissions (see "Initiatives" link above). These
regulations will bring about significant reductions in several pollutants in the
near term, however, NOx reductions will only be achieved in a long-term
timeframe. The District's current focus is to explore ways to achieve
more near-term NOx reductions, and additional reductions in other
pollutants. See "Local Studies & Actions" and "Technologies and
Research" links above for more information.
Fore more information, contact Technology and Environmental
Assessment Division Manager Brian
Shafritz, Emissions Inventory Specialist
Joe Petrini, or Public
Information Officer Mary Byrd.