Shippers Land $147,000 in Fines for Violating Marine Fuel Sulfur Regulations

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday January 16, 2015

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA) Tuesday announced that it's Air Resources Board (ARB) had fined four shippers a combined $146,719 for failing to adhere to the U.S. state's marine fuel regulations.

CEPA listed the companies found to be in non-compliance as Wealth Ocean Ship Management Co., China Shipping Container Lines, Liberty One Ship Management, and Kitaura Kaiun Co.

The fines were levied for failing to switch to compliant fuels, or failing to do so in a timely manner, and ranged from $27,750 to $53,000.

While the allowable sulfur content of marine fuels was lowered to 0.10 percent by weight within Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) on January 1, 2015, this limit has been in force since January 1, 2014 in California's state waters, which extend 24 nautical miles off the coast.

All the incidents in question took place before January 1, 2015.

"State anti-pollution laws require shippers to do their part to protect air quality," said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden.

"Shippers who comply are helping to protect the health of those who live, work, and go to schools near ports and shipping lanes."

"Our Ocean-Going Vessels Fuel Rule strives to protect residents throughout the state from the harmful impacts of ship pollution."

While the California regulations are being phased out in favour of tightened 2015 ECA rules, ARB has said that shipowners will be required to meet both sets of rules while it conducts its "Sunset Review," due to finsih by April this year.