U.S. waterway operators urge California Air Resources Board to reconsider proposed harbor boat engine emissions regulations

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ARLINGTON, Va., March 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the California Air Resources Board (CARB) nears approval of harbor boat engine emissions regulations, American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national water industry advocate tugs, tugs and barges, urges council to reconsider the bylaw as written.

The tug, tug and barge industry is the greenest mode of freight transportation today and is committed to continuously improving environmental sustainability, including carbon emissions. AWO is deeply concerned that proposed CARB regulations mandate engine technology that is not available and not certified as safe by the US Coast Guard; impose an unachievable compliance schedule; and grossly underestimate the cost of compliance and the financial impact the requirements will have on shipowners, especially small businesses. If adopted on March 24andthe regulation will come into force next year.

Barge transportation produces 43% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than rail and more than 800% less than trucks, and companies in the industry are investing in technological innovations to take advantage of these advantages and reduce further the environmental impact of the industry. The industry also has a long history of working with CARB on air quality initiatives. A prototype electric tug is under construction and will be operated in San Diego next year, and several hybrid tugs are already in use in California.

“The tug, tug and barge industry is committed to taking bold action to meet the environmental challenges of our time and welcomes the opportunities to work with CARB and other stakeholders towards this end,” said Jennifer Charpentier, President and CEO of AWO. “Unfortunately, CARB’s proposal risks sidelining not only the most environmentally sustainable mode of freight transportation, but also an industry that has kept goods moving safely and reliably during the pandemic and the supply chain crisis of the past two years.”

Over the past three years, the AWO and other harbor craft operators have made numerous attempts to work with CARB to explain significant flaws in the agency’s approach, and have also pointed out that the proposal is based on erroneous data which exaggerates the number of craft in port and the time these vessels spend in California regulated waters.

The CARB Virtual Hearing will take place Thursday March 24. Harbor craft rules must be heard at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Link to the hearing.

Tugboats and barges are found in most ocean and inland ports in California.

About US Waterway Operators
American Waterways Operators is the tug, tug, and barge industry’s advocate, resource, and united voice for safe, sustainable, and efficient transportation on America’s waterways, oceans, and coasts. Industry ships move more than 665 million tons of American commerce annually on the United States’ domestic and intracoastal waterways, the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts, and the Great Lakes.

For more information on the importance of waterways transportation, please contact AWO at (703) 841-9300 or visit AWO’s website at www.americanwaterways.com.

SOURCE US Waterway Operators

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