3/26/10 A United Nations body overseeing international shipping adopted rules Friday requiring freight ships to burn low-sulfur fuels within 200 nautical miles of much of North America's coastline beginning in 2015.
The International Maritime Organization adopted the rules Friday in London, nearly three years after California implemented a similar plan extending 24 miles from the state's coast. That effort is now considered instrumental in helping develop technology and test the impact of low-sulfur fuels in ships.
State Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, who rallied 55 state lawmakers to formally support the IMO effort, said the initiative will save hundreds of billions in health care costs in coming years by reducing hospital visits from people suffering from respiratory and heart ailments exacerbated by air pollution.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the rule will cut deadly particulate exhaust 85 percent while also slashing nitrogen oxides 80 percent. Read Full Article