The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will hear an appeal from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association challenging a California Air Resources Board requirement for the use of low-sulfur fuel in vessels.
The CARB rule stipulates that vessel operators must switch to the use of low-sulfur fuel within 24 miles of the California coast. PMSA is challenging that requirement on the grounds that the state is attempting to regulate international commerce and is extending its jurisdiction into federal waters.
John McLaurin, PMSA president, said vessel operators are serious about reducing emissions, but they believe regulation of the global shipping industry should be promulgated at the national and international levels.
For example, PMSA supports the U.S.-Canada initiative to set an international emissions standard for ocean-going vessels through creation of a North American Emission Control Area.
"The U.S.-Canadian proposal exceeds the emission standards and requirements that are at issue in the litigation and would achieve more meaningful air quality results," McLaurin said.
The 9th Circuit court in the coming months will accept written testimony from the parties to the litigation before rendering a decision next year.
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