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California fines MOL for air pollution violations

Japanese carrier MOL, which now operates as part of the Ocean Network Express (ONE) group, has been fined for violations of California’s air pollution laws according to an announcement from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The violations occurred during 2017 and 2018 and were discovered during routine audits of the company’s vessel visits, which found that MOL had not met the three-hour diesel operational time limits and had not reduced auxiliary engine power generation by 70% as required under California law, at the time of the offence. This year California increased the required auxiliary power reduction to 80%.

The company was fined a total of US$253,300, which will go to the state’s Air Pollution Control Fund to support efforts to improve air quality, and to comply with all applicable CARB regulations.

“Emissions from ships pollute communities adjacent to the Port, and also contribute to smog,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “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.”

According to CARB the original rule was introduced in 2007, but recent updates to the law mean it is now more stringent, though even before the tightening of the regulation CARB said it had helped to achieve an 80% reduction in harmful emissions from more than 13,000 vessel visits since 2014.

CARB recently adopted a new At-Berth Regulation to seek additional emissions reductions by including smaller fleets and additional vessel types such as roll-on/roll-off vehicle carriers and tankers.


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