Designation of North American
Emission Control Area to  Reduce
Emissions from Ships
    The International Maritime Organization has officially designated
    waters off North American coasts as an area in which stringent
international emission standards will apply for ships. These standards
will dramatically reduce air pollution from ships and deliver substantial
air quality and public health benefits that extend hundreds of miles
inland. This fact sheet contains an overview of this new geographic
emissions control program.

On March 26, 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
designating specific portions of U.S., Canadian and French waters as an Emission
Control Area (EGA). The proposal for EGA designation was introduced by the
U.S. and Canada, reflecting common interests, shared geography and interrelated
economies. In July 2009, France joined as a co-proposer on behalf of its island
territories of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, which form an archipelago off the coast
of Newfoundland. Allowing for the lead time associated with the IMO process, the
North American EGA will become enforceable in August 2012,

Ships are significant contributors to the U.S. and Canadian mobile-source emission
inventories, though most are flagged or registered elsewhere. Ships complying with
EGA standards will reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides
(SOx), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). In 2020, emissions from these ships
operating in the EGA are expected to be reduced annually by 320,000 tons for NOx,
90,000 tons for PM2.5, and 920,000 tons for SOx, which is 23 percent, 74 percent,
and 86 percent, respectively, below predicted levels in 2020 absent the EGA. The
overall cost of the North American EGA is estimated at $3.2 billion in 2020, while
United States
Environmental Protection
                                  Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                                                         March 2010

its benefits are expected to include preventing as many as 14,000 premature deaths and relieving
respiratory symptoms for nearly five million people each year in the U.S. and Canada. The
monetized healtlvrelated benefits are estimated to be as much as $110 billion in the U.S. in

The area of the North American EGA includes waters adjacent to the Pacific coast, the
Atlantic/Gulf coast and the eight main Hawaiian Islands.1. It extends up to 200 nautical miles
from coasts of the United States, Canada and the French territories, except that it does not
extend into marine areas subject to the sovereignty or jurisdiction of other States.
                        Figure  1: Area of the North American ECA

EPA is continuing to investigate whether other areas of the United States and its territories may
benefit from ECA designation. We are currently performing analyses to examine whether ECA
designation would be appropriate for the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. Some other areas for future consideration include the Pacific U.S. territories, smaller
    1 As used here, the main Hawaiian Islands include the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Molokai, Niihau, Kauai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.
    These islands are the main populated islands of the Hawaiian Islands chain, with the exception of Kahoolawe, which is an uninhabited
    nature i>

Hawaiian Islands, and Western Alaska. If further information supports the need for an EGA
designation in any of these areas, a separate proposal would be submitted to the IMO, following
the criteria contained in the international treaty known as MARPOL Annex VI,
The Need to Reduce Emissions from Ships
The diesel engines that power ships are significant mobile source emitters. The largest ship
propulsion engines being produced today must meet relatively modest emission requirements.2
In addition, both the main propulsion and the smaller auxiliary engines installed on these ships
operate on fuel that can have extremely high sulfur content. As a result, these ships generate
significant emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), NOx, and SOx that contribute to
nonattainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5 and ozone. Emissions
from these engines also cause harm to public welfare, contributing to visibility impairment and
other detrimental environmental impacts across the United States,

Many of our nation's most serious ozone and PM2.5 nonattainment areas are affected by emissions
from ships. Currently more than 30 major U.S. ports along our Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and
Pacific coasts are located in nonattainment areas for ozone and/or PM2.5.3

EPA has been advancing a coordinated strategy for many years to control air pollution from
large ships. In addition to our Clean Air Act program4, designation of U.S. waters as an EGA
is a key component  of EPA's strategy. Also, the EGA and other requirements of Annex VI are
implemented in the United  States through regulations adopted under the Act to Prevent
Pollution from Ships (APPS). Finally, EPA's Clean Ports USA Program, as part of our broader
National Clean Diesel Campaign, fosters innovation to achieve additional emission reductions
from existing diesel  engines and nonroad equipment at ports.

Air pollution from ships is expected to grow over the next two decades. Without EPA's coordinated
strategy, by 2030, NOx emissions from ships would be projected to more than double, growing
to 2.1 million tons a year while annual PM2.5 emissions would be expected to almost triple to
170,000 tons. The North American EGA ensures that emissions from ships that operate in our
waters and ports will be reduced significantly, delivering substantial benefits to large segments of
our population, as well  as to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Emission Control Area Standards
In October 2008, the member states of IMO agreed to amend MARPOL Annex VI, adopting
new tiers of NOx and fuel sulfur controls. The most stringent of these new emission standards
2 The modest Tier I engine NOx standards continue through 2010, the marginally lower Tier II standards apply from 2011 through 2015.

3 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Principal Port Rankings for 2008.

4 EPA's CAA program includes regulations at 40 CFR parts 94, 1042, 1043, and 1065. See

apply to ships operating in designated EGAs, including the newly-designated North American
EGA. The table below summarizes the Annex VI standards that apply globally and within

         Table 1: International Ship Engine and Fuel Standards (MARPOL Annex VI)

Emission Control
Today to July 20 10
Today to January 2011
Today to January 2012
2020 a
Fuel Sulfur
15,000 ppm
10,000 ppm
1,000 ppm

45,000 ppm
35,000 ppm
5,000 ppm

Tier III (Aftertreatment-forcing)
Tier I (Engine-based controls)
Tier II (Engine-based controls)

      a Subject to a fuel availability study in 2018, may be extended to 2025.
The 2015 fuel sulfur standard of 0.1 percent fuel sulfur (1,000 ppm) is expected to reduce PM
and SOx emissions by more than 85 percent from today's levels. This most stringent EGA fuel
standard is expected to be met through fuel switching. In most cases, ships already have the
capability to store two or more fuels. However, to meet the 1,000 ppm fuel sulfur requirement,
some vessels may need to be modified for additional distillate fuel storage capacity. As an
alternative to using lower sulfur fuel, ship operators may choose to equip their vessels with
exhaust gas cleaning devices ("scrubbers"). In this case, the scrubber extracts sulfur from the

The current Tier I NOx standards range from 9.8 to 17 g/kW-h, depending on engine speed.
The Tier II standards represent a 20 percent NOx reduction below Tier I, and the Tier III
standards represent an 80 percent NOx reduction below Tier I. We expect  ships to meet the
Tier III standard through the use of high-efficiency aftertreatment technology.
The costs of implementing and complying with the EGA are expected to be small in compari'
son to the health and welfare benefits and on par with the costs of achieving similar emissions
reductions through additional controls on land-based sources. We estimate the total costs of
improving the emissions of ships operating in the EGA from current performance to EGA
standards will be approximately $3.2 billion in 2020. The cost to reduce a ton of NOx, SOx and
PM is estimated at $2,400, $1,100 and $10,000, respectively, which makes this program a very
cost-effective method to improve air quality in the U.S. and Canada,

The economic impacts of complying with the program on ships engaged in international trade
are expected to be modest. For example, operating costs for a ship in a route that includes about
1,700 nautical miles of operation in the EGA may increase by about 3 percent. This operating
cost increase would raise the cost of transport of a 20 foot container by about $18,
The U.S. coastline and much of the interior of the country will experience significant improve-
ments in air quality due to reduced PM and ozone from ships complying with EGA standards.
Coastal areas will experience the largest improvements; however, significant improvements will
extend hundreds of miles inland to reach nonattainment areas in states such as Nevada, Tennessee
and Pennsylvania. National treasures such as the Grand Canyon National Park and the Great
Smoky Mountains will also see air quality improvements.

The North American EGA is expected to yield significant health and welfare benefits. EGA
standards will begin to reduce ship-related adverse health impacts for the U.S. and Canada in
2012. EPA estimates that the annual benefits in 2020 will include preventing between 5,500 and
14,000 premature deaths, 3,800 emergency room visits, and 4,900,000 cases of acute respiratory
symptoms in 2020. These benefits will increase beyond 2020, as normal fleet turnover occurs and
more vessels complying with the 2016 NOx standards set sail.

The monetized health benefits  in 2020 in the U.S. are projected to range from $47 to $110
billion in 2006 U.S. dollars, assuming a 3 percent discount rate.
For More Information
You can access the EGA standards, the proposal to the IMO and related documents on EPA's
Office of Transportation and Air Quality web site at:

For additional information, please contact the Assessment and Standards Division at

, 734-214-4636, or:
          Assessment and Standards Division
          Office of Transportation and Air Quality
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          2000 Traverwood Dr.
          Ann Arbor, MI 48105