"U.S., Canada Near Agreement To Control Pollutants From Ships"

"WASHINGTON -- The five-story-tall engines on oceangoing vessels burn some of the dirtiest oil — bottom-of-the-barrel bunker — and churn out a substantial amount of the air pollution in American port cities, coastal communities along shipping lanes and places hundreds of miles inland.

Now the United States and Canada are nearing an international agreement to clean up the emissions of ships traveling within 200 nautical miles of shore. Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency calculate that pollution controls will save the lives of 8,300 people each year and help more than 3 million avoid respiratory problems.

The biggest health benefits will be in deep-sea ports, but the EPA calculates that communities far inland also will benefit from cleaner air. The air in the Grand Canyon will be clearer. Acid rain will decrease.

The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations body that deals with marine pollution, is expected to approve an emission control area for most of the United States and Canada at its next meeting in March. The organization agreed in July that the plan met its guidelines."

Renee Schoof reports for McClatchy Newspapers September 2, 2009.

Friday, September 4, 2009
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