>EPA Issues Final Rule on Emissions from Large Marine Diesel Engines

>Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that finalized emission standards for new marine diesel engines with a per-cylinder displacement at or above 30 liters (called Category 3 marine diesel engines) installed on U.S. vessels. These emission standards are equivalent to those adopted in amendments to Annex VI of MARPOL. The standards will apply in two stages – near-term standards for newly built engines will apply beginning in 2011; long-term standards requiring an 80% reduction in NOx emissions will begin in 2016. The rule also finalizes a change in the diesel fuel program that will allow for production and sale of 1,000 ppm sulfur fuel for use in Category 3 marine vessels. In addition, the new fuel requirements will generally forbid the production and sale of other fuels above 1,000 ppm sulfur for use in most U.S .waters, unless alternative devices, procedures, or compliance methods are used to achieve equivalent emissions reductions. The final rule comes into effect on June 29, 2010.

The United States became a party to MARPOL Annex VI by depositing its instrument of ratification with IMO on October 8, 2008. This was preceded by the President signing into law the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110–280) on July 21, 2008, that contains amendments to the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.). These APPS amendments require compliance with Annex VI by all persons subject to the engine and vessel requirements of Annex VI. The amendments also authorize the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA to enforce the provisions of Annex VI against domestic and foreign vessels and to develop implementing regulations, as necessary. In addition, APPS gives EPA sole authority to certify engines installed on U.S. vessels to the Annex VI requirements. This final rule contains regulations codifying the Annex VI requirements and regulations to implement several aspects of the Annex VI engine and fuel regulations, which the EPA is finalizing under that APPS authority.