BPC Attends CARB and CalEPA Public Workshop on At Berth and At Anchor Control Measures

As part of its ongoing implementation of AB 617, the State of California has reinforced its commitment to the legislation’s goals by incentivizing further emissions reductions in and around high-impact communities. Accordingly, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Environmental Protection Agency have drafted an update to the state’s “Concepts for Ocean-Going Vessels Operating At Berth and At Anchor Control Measure” which aims to limit emissions by vessels visiting California ports. The potential update to these concepts was the subject of a public workshop held by both agencies in Oakland on September 6 which was attended by Bay Planning Coalition (BPC) staff member Aidan Offermann. 

The primary aim of updating the regulations would be to reduce at-berth emissions by mandating that visiting vessels’ eliminate use of their auxiliary engines while in port or achieve equivalent emissions reductions through an alternative control measure. This ideally incentivizes the adoption of emissions-reducing technologies by terminals and vessel fleets, both of which could be penalized for non-compliance. Click here for a table detailing the proposed compliance requirements.

Community health benefits remains one of the ultimate goals behind updating the regulation. Auxiliary engines commonly used by visiting fleets emit significant amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx), diesel particulate matter (PM), and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Reducing these emissions thus falls under CARB’s authority and has been linked to improved community health. 

Attendee concerns voiced at the workshop included the differential impacts on health risks between high population and low population areas and the logistics of compliance, with special attention paid to the economics of compliance for infrequent visitors. As proposed, implementation of the updated regulations will be phased in through 2025. Click here for a draft implementation schedule. 

BPC will continue to monitor the development of these new measures; many of which will directly affect our members.  

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