MOL to pay $250K California Port air pollution fine
Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has agreed to pay a substantial penalty for violations of air quality laws as part of California's continuing attempts to impose stringent pollution regulations in its major ports.
California aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen and particulate matter from vessels at the dock beginning in 2007. The regulation requires container, passenger and refrigerated cargo ships to minimize pollution while docked, covering the busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Hueneme, San Francisco, and San Diego.
MOL also agreed to pay the California Air Resources Board $253,300 in fines for violating regulations. The violations were identified during routine evaluations of the company's 2017 and 2018 vessel fleet visits to the Port of Oakland, according to CARB. CARB estimates that Mitsui OSK Line's Oakland fleet did not meet the operating time limits of the three-hour diesel engine between 2017 and 2018.
“Emissions from ships pollute communities adjacent to the Port, and also contribute to smog.This regulation requiring shipping fleets to reduce their diesel emissions while at berth has a profound impact on helping clean up air quality, especially in communities located near ports,” said California Air Resources Board Executive Officer Richard Corey.
In order to minimize harmful emissions, including diesel particulate matter, fine particulate matter, nitrogen (NOx), reactive organic gases, greenhouse gases, and sulfur oxides (SOx), the law requires that any vessel entering a controlled California port either use shore power or CARB-approved control technology.
The updated regulation, once fully implemented, will deliver a 90 percent reduction in emissions from an estimated additional 2,300 visits to vessels each year.
CARB claims the regulation has achieved an 80 percent reduction in pollution from more than 13,000 vessel visits over the past six years.
Maritime Business World