In May 2001, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA/POLB), the United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 9, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association, and the Marine Exchange of Southern California was signed (it was later extended through 2004). This MOU specifically requests ocean-going vessels to voluntarily reduce their speed to 12 knots at a distance of 20 nautical miles from the POLA/POLB.
As part of our efforts under the MOU, Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, Goods Movement Emissions Reduction Plan, and Assembly Bill 32 - Greenhouse Gas Initiative, CARB is evaluating the need to develop an ocean-going vessel speed reduction (VSR) program. Ocean-going VSR reductions offer the possibility for significant reductions in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulfur (SOx), diesel particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2). A VSR program or measure could be an important element in improving air quality along California's coastline communities. As part of this evaluation, CARB contracted with the University of California, Riverside, College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology to study the impacts of VSR on the in-use emissions of ocean-going vessels. The VSR impact study and workshop notices, and other information can be found below.