NEW $100,000 AIR POLLUTION GRANT WILL HELP CLEAR BAY AREA SKIES OF CRUISE SHIP SMOKESTACK EXHAUST
Contact: Teri Shore, 415-544-0790, ext. 20
US EPA funds Port of San Francisco’s new incentive program for cruise ships to burn cleaner marine fuels in the Bay for one year San Francisco, CA – Burning cleaner marine fuels could become routine for cruise ships calling on the Port of San Francisco as a result of a $100,000 air pollution grant awarded today by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The port will use the money to reduce docking fees on cruise ships that switch to cleaner-burning marine fuels while in the Bay. The one-year project will reduce harmful diesel exhaust emissions from cruise ship smokestacks by as much as 10 tons per cruise ship for theseason.
“We will breathe cleaner air whenever cruise ships burn cleaner fuels in port,” said Teri Shore, Clean Vessels Campaign Director for Bluewater Network of San Francisco. “Even better, we’ll show that ship smokestack pollution can be cut quickly and cost-effectively.”
Each cruise ship that calls on the Port of San Francisco idles for 10 to 12 hours at the dock, running its large diesel engines to provide on-board electricity. By burning cleaner fuels while docked today at Piers 30-32, the Regal Princess would reduce its emissions by 1,652 pounds. Several ships making a total of 52 calls have indicated they would participate in the clean fuels program.
This will grow to a total of 10 tons less air pollution per year based on 12 port calls. (This is based on perport call reductions of sulfur oxides 1,368 pounds; particulate matter 84 pounds; and nitrogen oxides, 200 pounds.) The $100,000 grant will help subsidize more than 300 gallons of cleaner fuel, based on a cost difference of about $300 per ton between bunker fuel and marine distillate fuel. Ships burn 15 to 20 tons of fuel while docked. Cruise lines have promised to match the federal funds by at 50 percent so more clean fuel will be purchased and burned – helping to improve air quality even further.
By switching from heavy bunker fuel to cleaner marine distillate fuel reduces, a ship can reduce its harmful sulfur oxide emissions by 90 percent; cancer-causing particulate matter by 60 percent and smogforming nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 10 percent.
Cruise ships calls to San Francisco have nearly doubled from 44 in 2002 to 83 in 2005. These ships typically burn heavy bunker fuels that are far dirtier than comparable on-road diesel fuels. Large ship engines are unregulated and operate without the air pollution controls required in trucks and cars.
Bluewater Network is a partner in the grant award to the Port of San Francisco and participates in theWest Coast Diesel Emissions Reduction Collaborative The program will supplement regulatory effortsby providing incentives for quicker adoption of cleaner fuels and technologies. It could also result instronger regulations by accelerating use of air pollution controls and cleaner fuels.