The shipping industry is one of the most under-regulated industries in the world due to outdated and international regulations that are difficult to enforce on a global scale. And as these ships enter our harbors and ports close to home, their operations have the potential to generate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants that are linked to various health problems in susceptible populations.
In an effort to combat some of the pollution expelled from dirty diesel engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted over one million dollars to help two specific organizations replace their old engines with less polluting models.
According to the EPA, the projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants which are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.
Diesel engines often remain in use a long time. Older diesel engines that predate current and stricter air pollution standards emit large amounts of air pollutants. EPA grants such as those announced today are helping to reduce air pollution from some of the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of pollution.
“Older diesel engines generate significant amounts of air pollution that can make people sick,” said EPA Regional Administrator, Judith A. Enck. “Replacing or retrofitting old polluting diesel engines reduces people’s exposure to pollutants that can lead to asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days and many other health impacts.”
The Connecticut Maritime Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, will use a $600,000 EPA grant to replace two old engines on the Patrick J. Hunt, an 80-foot marine tug boat, which operates out of New York harbor, with new and cleaner EPA-certified engines. The new engines are estimated to emit 40% less nitrogen oxides and 62% less particulate matter than the current engine. The project is expected to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 17.9 tons per year and particulate matter by 1 ton per year in addition to conserving 10,825 gallons of fuel annually.
The New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, a not-for-profit organization, will use a $587,918 EPA grant to replace the old engines in two tug boats and one supply boat that operate out of New York harbor with new and cleaner EPA-certified engines. The new engines are estimated to emit 69% less nitrogen oxides and 80% less particulate matter than the current engines. The project is expected to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 816.2 tons and particulate matter by 40.6 tons over the life of the engines in addition to conserving between 1.8 and 2.25 million gallons of fuel over a lifetime of about 12 years.
Article by Allison Winter.