Diesel boats and ships, which range from small recreational runabouts to large ocean-going vessels, are significant contributors to air pollution in many of our nation's cities and ports. The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative also addresses support equipment that handles goods being shipped. Although marine diesel engines produced today must meet relatively modest emission requirements, they continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), both of which contribute to serious public health problems.
In May 2004, as part of the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule, EPA finalized new requirements for nonroad diesel fuel that will decrease the allowable levels of sulfur in fuel used in marine vessels by at least 90 percent from current levels. These fuel improvements will create immediate and significant environmental and public health benefits by reducing particulate matter from existing engines.
In a separate coinciding action, EPA announced its intent to propose more stringent emission standards for all new commercial, recreational, and auxiliary marine diesel engines except the very large engines used for propulsion on deep-sea vessels. These standards, modeled after the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel engines program, would require advanced emission control technologies similar to those for heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses. EPA estimates that NOx and PM emissions could be reduced by 90 percent from current standards by applying such advanced technology to these marine diesel engines.
The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System extends from Montreal to Lake Erie. Over 90 percent of the Seaway traffic is made up of bulk cargoes such as wheat and other grains, iron ore, coals, chemicals and oil. In 2003, over 150,000 tons of freight were transported on the Great Lakes. (Reference #1) Link to the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System's website for more information.
In Region 5, there are 59 Great Lakes ports and 848 river ports. (Reference #1 & 2) Over 1,500 diesel-powered waterborne vessels carry freight on the region's waterways.
Seven of the 10 major ports in Great Lakes Region are located in non-attainment areas for ozone and/or particulate matter. Region 5 Map of ten major ports found in the Great Lakes Region (PDF). (559K, 1page, About PDF)
Ports in Nonattainment Areas (By State)
- IL: Illinois International Port District, Port of Chicago
- IN: Ports of Indiana (Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville, Mt. Vernon)
- MI: Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority
- OH: Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Cuyahoga)
- OH: Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (Lucas)
- WI: Port of Milwaukee (Milwaukee)
Other Great Lakes Ports & Region 5 River Ports (By State)
- MI: Port of Monroe
- MN: Seaway Port of Duluth
- OH: Conneaut Port Authority
- OH: Lorain Port Authority
- WI: Brown County Harbor Commission/Port of Green Bay
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "Waterborne Commerce of the United States. Part 3 - Waterways and Harbors Great Lakes." Calendar 2003.
- Marine Transportation System Task Force. "An
Assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System." September
Marine vessels emit large amounts of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Marine emissions at ports are generally classified as non-road mobile source emissions. Marine emissions are primarily from diesel engines operating on ocean-going vessels, tugs and tows, dredges, and other vessels operating within a port area. In addition, there are land-based port emission sources which include yard tractors, cranes, container handles, forklifts, heavy duty trucks and locomotives operating within a port area. To find more information, visit the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative's Technologies Webpage.
Port of Cleveland Land-Based Equipment Retrofit Project (PDF, 1 page, 386 K About PDF).
- EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign's Clean Ports USA
- EPA's Commercial Marine Activity for Great Lake and Inland River Ports in the United States (PDF, 84 pages, 360K, About PDF)
- EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
- EPA's Personal Watercraft Information - Gasoline Boats and Personal Watercraft
- EPA's Ports Sectors Strategies
- EPA's Regional Port Initiatives Information - Great Lakes Regional Collaboration: In May 2004, President Bush signed a Presidential Executive Order recognizing the Great Lakes as a national treasure, calling for the creation of a Regional Collaboration of National Significance,and a cabinet-level Interagency Task Force. The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration brings together a federal Task Force, the Great Lakes states, local communities, tribes, regional bodies and other interests in the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes Framework calls for these parties to, within one year, design a strategy to restore and protect the Great Lakes now and into the future. There are eight Issue Area Strategy Teams, including Sustainable Development which captures Ports' transportation activities.
Below are links to other web sites that may have useful information about Port-related activities. These links are provided for convenience only and no endorsement by EPA is intended. By visiting these non-EPA sites, you leave the domain of EPA and assume the responsibility for any aspect of these sites and for information that you use from these sites. Information contained on these sites can in no way be assumed to replace EPA guidance or policies.
- American Association of Port Authorities - Alliance of ports in the western hemisphere.
- American Great Lakes Ports Association - An organization representing the interests of the public port authorities on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes. The organization works to inform and influence public policies, primarily at the federal level, that foster maritime commerce and related employment in the Great Lakes region.
- American Waterways Operators - Advocate for tugboat, towboat and barge industry.
- Great Lakes Commision
- Great Lakes Cruising Coalition - Joint American-Canadian cooperative venture involving Great Lakes ports, towns, regions and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Focuses on the quality of port facilities, memorable shore excursions and healthy marine enviornment.
- Highway H2O - A partnership to promote waterborne shipping on the St. Lawrence River, St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes.
- Lake Carrier's Association - A trade organization that represents domestic cargo vessels (Called Lakers) on the Great Lakes.
- River Industry Bulletin Board
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Data Center - Information about waterborne commerce, port facilities (public and private), ship characteristics, dredging information, and locks characteristics and performance. The information is accessible by region and includes in-land river as well as coastal port facilities.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Port Series Reports - Information about each port in the U.S. including tenants and cargo types.
- U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's "Industry Survey Series: Great Lakes Operators: 2005". (PDF, 27 pgs, 265 K About PDF).
Commerce Statistics Center - U.S. Corps of Army Engineers information
clearinghouse on waterborne commerce.