SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board announced today that it has fined Dojima Marine and Korkyra Shipping $55,500 each for failing to use cleaner-burning fuel when less than 24 nautical miles from California’s shores.
“Burning dirty bunker fuel produces unacceptable amounts of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “Requiring ships to burn cleaner fuel provides significant benefits for California’s coastal communities by reducing asthma triggers and airborne carcinogens.”
Dojima Marine and Korkyra Shipping cooperated and acknowledged that their individual ships operated in regulated California waters using heavily polluting bunker fuel rather than the required cleaner marine distillate.
The money will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support projects and research to improve the state's air quality.
The clean fuel requirement, adopted in 2008, reduced diesel-particulate matter from ships blowing over the state by 15 tons per day, an 83 percent reduction of the previously uncontrolled emissions from ships. The required shift to cleaner fuel also cut sulfur oxide emissions by 40 tons per day, a 95 percent reduction, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 11 tons per day, a 6 percent reduction.
In 1998, ARB identified diesel particulate matter as a Toxic Air Contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer and other health problems, including premature death and a number of heart and lung diseases.
Exposure to diesel PM is a health hazard, particularly to children whose lungs are still developing, and the elderly who may have other serious health problems. Health risks from diesel PM are highest in areas of concentrated emissions, such as near ports, rail yards, freeways, or warehouse distribution centers.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.