Congress members urge EPA to authorize California Clean Shipping Rule

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On Oct. 11, U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA) and U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) led a coalition of California Congress members in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to authorize a clean shipping regulation in that state.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the Congress members requested the EPA act on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) request from September to authorize its Ocean-going Vessels At-Berth Regulation. The regulation would require large ships to plug into shore power at ports, rather than run their engines on toxic fuels. The Congress members said it have been over a year since the regulation was submitted, and that it was time for the EPA to act on it.

“Goods movement, including port operations, is one of the leading contributors to California’s notorious air pollution problems. The state has a total of twelve ports, including the largest port complex in the nation, the San Pedro Bay Ports,” the coalition wrote. “Emission reduction attributable to the 2020 At-Berth Regulation is estimated to prevent 237 premature deaths, 75 hospitalizations, and 122 emergency room visits from 2021 to 2032.”

Delays in the authorization has slowed efforts by CARB to reduce ship emissions, the Congress members said. As a result, California residents, especially those in portside communities, are forced to shoulder health burdens from the pollution.

The letter is supported by Earthjustice, Pacific Environment, Sierra Club, Regional Asthma Management & Prevention, Ocean Conservancy, Little Manila Rising, California Environmental Voters, Friends of the Earth (FoE), Environmental Defense Fund, Communities for a Better Environment, San Pedro & Peninsula Homeowners Coalition, California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy, Breathe Southern California, Sunflower Alliance, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Pacific Environment, CCAEJ, Move LA, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Coalition for Clean Air, the Congress members said.