The California Air Resources Board has fined three international shipping companies a combined $440,250 for failure to switch from bunker fuel to low-sulfur marine distillate fuel upon entering regulated California waters, as required by state law.
“Ships en route to California ports emit thousands of tons of diesel exhaust each year,” said Jim Ryden, ARB’s enforcement chief, in a written statement. “Our regulation requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to cleaner fuel within 24 nautical miles of our shoreline protects all California residents, especially those in port communities, from this air pollution.”
According to ARB:
- An ARB investigation showed that on 17 visits to California ports between Nov. 6, 2009, and July 18, 2011, the vessel Hoegh Inchon operated its main engines within regulated California waters on bunker fuel. The parent company Hoegh Autoliners Shipping of Oslo, Norway, was fined $299,500.
- In August 2012, prior to docking at the ports of Stockton and Long Beach, the Ikan Bawal was also cited for failing to switch to cleaner fuels while operating in the regulated area. Its owner, N.C.N. Corp. Panama, was fined $87,750.
- Furthermore, in February 2013, prior to docking at the Port of Los Angeles, the vessel K-Pluto was cited for failing to switch to cleaner fuel while operating in the regulated area. Its parent company, Twin Phoenix Shipping of Singapore, was fined $53,000.
All three companies complied with ARB’s investigation and agreed to abide by all ARB regulations, follow fuel switchover requirements and keep accurate records, the board said. The fines go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research.