Release 06-30      

November 16, 2006


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
       ARB Expands Measure to Reduce Emissions from Onboard Ship Incineration - Board Also
Amends Rule to Require Upgrades of Diesel Agricultural Engines

SAN FRANCISCO -- In response to recent legislation, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) today expanded its regulation prohibiting onboard cruise ship incineration to include oceangoing ships, such as container vessels, that weigh more than 300 gross registered tons. The ARB also amended an existing rule to require some owners to upgrade or replace their diesel-powered stationary agricultural engines beginning in 2011.

The Board amended the Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for cruise ship incineration, passed by the ARB in November 2005, to implement the requirements of Senate Bill 771 (Simitian), also known as the California Clean Coast Act. This legislation prohibits ships from incinerating waste while operating within three miles of the California coast. The only exception would be when it is done under the direction and supervision of the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The Board's action today strengthens protection for Californians who live and work close to the state's increasingly busy ports," said ARB Chairman, Dr. Robert F. Sawyer. "When the legislature began tackling onboard ship incineration in 2004, there were no state or local air pollution control regulations limiting emissions. With trade expected to triple by 2020, it's critical for California to have these tools to minimize potential health impacts while allowing our economy to thrive. Once again, California is leading the way."

Air pollution from marine vessels is a significant and growing concern in California. In 2005, non-cruise ships accounted for over 9,900 port calls in California. Onboard incineration is a source of toxic air contaminants (TACs); exposure to air toxics may cause cancer and other health impacts. The expanded regulations are expected to further reduce public exposure to TACs such as dioxins, furans, and metals.

In addition to prohibiting onboard incineration within three miles of the California coast, the ATCM requires oceangoing ships to keep incineration records. With the exception of military ships, ARB can access and review incinerator records out to 24 nautical miles, which are required under international regulations. The U.S. Navy already adheres to a policy that prohibits incineration within 12 miles of the California coast and the U.S. Coast Guard cannot incinerate within three miles of the coast

According to ARB staff, costs to comply with the amendments are negligible.

In another hearing, the ARB amended an existing rule to require owners of diesel-powered stationary agricultural engines over 50 horsepower to either be upgraded or replaced by newer, cleaner engines beginning in 2011. In conjunction with local air quality district rules and incentive programs, the new requirements will result in emission reductions of 330 tons per year of particulate matter and 5,800 tons per year of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 2012.

ARB scientists ultimately expect to reduce particulate emissions by 440 tons per year and to cut as much as 8,100 tons per year of nitrogen oxides by 2022, when the rule is fully implemented. According to ARB staff, most of those engines are currently used as irrigation pumps throughout the state.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at