U.S. Seeks Major Reductions in Air Pollution from Large Ships in Puerto Rico and Virgin Island Waters

  • Date: December 15, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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The U.S government has sought reduction of air pollution from large ships. The reduction would apply to ships that operate in the coastlines of Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. A proposal has been presented to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It calls for defining these waters as an emission control area. Once so defined, large ships have to use cleaner fuel or install superior pollution control technology. Air Pollution in Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Islands is mainly caused by tankers, container vessels and cruise ships.


The IMO is a United Nations agency. It is entrusted with improvement of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a part of the U.S delegation to the IMO. In March 2010, the US government requested IMO that the waters off all North American coasts be designated as an emission control area. The eventual designation of the US Caribbean waters along with the North American emission control area is a vital component of the EPA program to deal with air pollution from large ships.  


The EPA has set guidelines that ships should adhere to and feature:
  • Domestic actions under the Clean Air Act.
  • U.S. government action at the IMO.
  • Efforts to designate Emission Control Areas for U.S. coastal waters.
  • Efforts to adopt new international standards for all ships in global waters
Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to frame and enforce regulations to protect the public from hazardous airborne contaminants. The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships or APPS implements the provisions of MARPOL 73/78 (short for marine pollution and the years, 1973 & 1978).


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