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Emission Standards Finalized for Ocean-going Vessels

Release Date: 01/31/2003
Contact Information:

Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/

(01/31/03) On Jan. 31, EPA will sign the final rulemaking for emission standards for new marine diesel engines on U.S. flagged ocean-going vessels. These standards will apply to engines manufactured on Jan. 1, 2004 or later and to any engines installed on new vessels built after that date. These new standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are consistent with those adopted by the International Maritime Organization under Annex VI to the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships also known as MARPOL Annex VI. The new emission standards apply mostly to engines with per-cylinder displacement at or above 30 liters, also known as Category 3 marine diesel engines. These large marine engines are used primarily for propulsion power on ocean-going vessels such as container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, and cruise ships. These standards will continue to apply until EPA adopts a second tier of standards in a future rulemaking, no later than April 2007. EPA anticipates the future rulemaking will significantly reduce emissions with a focus on continued improvements in emission-control technologies such as selective catalytic reduction and water-based strategies. EPA will also consider applying the second tier of standards to engines on foreign vessels that enter U.S. ports. The United States will also be advocating these more stringent standards through the international standard-setting process. For more information see