18 March 14

ECA – more harm than good?

Short sea shipping representatives have hit back over the ‘expensive’ new ultra low fuel Emission Control Area (ECA) requirements set to come into force in North America in January 2015. Rod Jones, president and CEO of the CSL Group and Bill Terry, president and CEO of Eagle Rock Aggregates said that the requirements are “flawed” and will “likely increase onshore pollution and higher shipping costs as well as prices for customers.” The new ECA ruling in North America seeks to further limit sulphur emissions for shippers but the two executives so that their companies have no alternative but to switch to very expensive low sulphur fuel or lose business to trucks and trains. Both shippers operate short sea vessels almost exclusively in the EPA area and said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t consider the sector when crafting the new policy. Short sea vessels will incur more impact from the ECA than transoceanic vessels which only spend a small portion of their voyages within the area. Mr Jones and Mr Terry said that whereas the impact was calculated to be a 3% rise in fuel costs for transoceanic shipping, CSL and other members of the short sea shipping sector expect to see a 35% rise. They propose that the new requirements be amended to only affect short sea ships within 50nm from shore. “This revision will move away from the current one size fits all regulation and align with a more scientifically based approach which achieves the same environmental protection goals,” Mr Jones said. The two men testified in person and in writing as part of the Maritime Transportation Regulations: Impacts on Safety, Security, Jobs and the Environment’ hearing, which was convened by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Source: GreenPort