Brown and environmental groups
ask EPA to regulate ship pollution
By Julia Cheever
October 2, 2007
California Attorney General Jerry Brown and three environmental
groups today announced they have filed petitions asking the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas air
pollution from ocean-going ships.
The petition submitted by Brown on behalf of the state of California
estimates that large vessels, including both cargo ships and cruise
ships, produce up to 3 percent of the worldwide greenhouse gas
emissions that result in global warming.
Brown said today, "If the U.S. is to do its part in reducing
the threat of global climate disruption, then EPA must limit the
global warming emissions from ships that enter the ports of the
California Attorney General Jerry Brown
The three environmental groups filing a similar petition are
Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity and
Oceana, represented by Oakland-based Earthjustice, an environmental
Greenhouse gases emitted by ships include carbon dioxide, nitrogen
oxides and carbon.
The environmental groups say in their petition that only six
countries emit more carbon dioxide than marine vessels worldwide
and a single container ship produces as much air pollution as
2,000 diesel trucks.
Earthjustice attorneys wrote in the petition, "Given the
gravity of the threat to public health and welfare that global
warming represents...the EPA must not delay any longer in regulating
Brown and the groups say a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued
in April establishes that the EPA has the authority to regulate
The petitions ask the EPA to assess ships' contribution to global
warming and then issue regulations. They say that ways of reducing
pollution could include requiring cleaner fuel, better fuel efficiency
and slower speeds.
The Coast Guard could aid in enforcing regulations, Brown said.
EPA spokeswoman Jessica Emond said the agency is working with
the International Maritime Organization to revise an international
treaty that sets standards for air pollution emissions from ships.
Emond said, "EPA's current proposal to harmonize emissions
standards at ports worldwide would deliver cleaner air to all
Emond said the agency is responding to the U.S. Supreme Court
ruling by taking drafting regulations that would cut gasoline
consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.