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Shipping

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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Keeping Puget Sound Clean
Keeping Puget Sound Clean

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.

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Groups Intervene in Federal Lawsuit to Protect Puget Sound No Discharge Zone

Today, Washington Environmental Council, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Friends of the Earth will intervene in a federal lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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Arctic Indigenous Voices made a difference on polar shipping in 2018 – and 2019 looks promising too
Arctic Indigenous Voices made a difference on polar shipping in 2018 – and 2019 looks promising too

It’s not every day that elder Alaska Natives are heard and respected by leaders from around the world.

I went Dungeness crabbing in Washington for the first time this fall. Here’s why I’m concerned about increased shipping from Trans Mountain pipeline.
I went Dungeness crabbing in Washington for the first time this fall. Here’s why I’m concerned about increased shipping from Trans Mountain pipeline.

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.

As history and records are set in 2018, the world must listen to Arctic Indigenous Peoples at IMO
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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.

Resources See All
  • Oil Tanker Info Sheet
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  • Northwest Campaign Info Sheet
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  • Tar sands/Dilbit Crude Oil Movements Within the Salish Sea
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