Tuesday, 7 July 2009

EPA cracks down on ship emissions

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on plans to cut harmful emissions from ocean-going vessels, primarily nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). The organisation is proposing to use the Clean Air Act to set engine and fuel standards for U.S. flagged ships to bring them in line with international standards.

The rule follows a proposal last March by the US and Canada to designate thousands of miles of the two countries’ coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA). It would mean that there would be stringent standards for large ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the coast. The UN's International Maritime Organisation is due to consider the ECA plan this month.

According to the EPA the US and international strategies would reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides from large marine diesel engines by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter emissions by about 143,000 tons by 2030. When fully implemented, the coordinated effort would reduce NOx emissions by 80% and PM emissions by 85%.

From an IT perspective you have to see it as another factor in the growing green compliance requirement that is going to impact many aspects of business and the IT systems that run the commercial world. As we know, compliance already drives a lot of IT outsourcing as companies look to offload the hassle and as rules multiply internationally there's a lot of scope to help global organisations cope.

© The Green IT Review

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