The amount of air pollution produced by ocean-going vessels is staggering. A single cargo ship can produce as much air pollution as 350,000 cars in an hour. These large, ocean-going ships operate on diesel engines the size of a single-family home, and most burn “bunker” fuel, which is cheap, but much more polluting and climate-warming than fuels used to power vehicles. Bunker fuel contains high concentrations of toxic compounds banned from use in most other industrial and consumer applications.
As global trade increases, global shipping is expected to double within the next decade, bringing shipping pollution to new highs. EPA estimates that emissions from ocean-going vessels will double their contributions to the national mobile source inventory of sulfur oxides and quadruple particulate matter — both of which are major health threats. Increased ship emissions not only degrade air quality, but also contribute to global warming, ocean acidification and eutrophication of waterways.
Friends of the Earth works at the local and state levels to strengthen port regulations to protect local communities and waters, to enact health-protective national and international shipping standards, and to achieve global warming reductions from ocean-going vessels in order to attain pollution reductions worldwide.
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Five years of environmental activism will clean the state’s waterways, protect public health, and boost local economy. This is a major win for both Washington and our planet.
As climate change continues to alter the Arctic, it is imperative that Indigenous communities and practices are not threatened by large-scale commercial marine activity.
In a major victory for clean water, outdoor recreation, and local economies across the country, the U.S. Senate today rejected attempts to weaken Clean Water Act protections to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering U.S. waters through the discharge of ballast water.
The Clean Water Act has provided protection for our waters from polluted ship discharges for almost a decade. Congress must not allow this dirty industry to start dumping its pollution in our oceans and lakes again.
We would see an estimated 700% increase in shipping traffic in the Salish Sea. With it would come increased risks to fishing families, coastal communities and our marine wildlife.
Pollution threats from HFO tie into the very fiber of our lives — affecting our access to healthy wildlife for food and the quality of our lands.
The threat posed by heavy fuel oil in the Arctic is substantial. In fragile, ice-covered marine environments, use of this fuel by ships is a disaster waiting to happen.