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1. EPA PROPOSES TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM NEW LARGE MARINE DIESEL ENGINES, 2. COUNCIL OF THE COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION INITIATES SEARCH FOR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 3. EPA CELEBRATES AMERICAN WETLANDS MONTH

Release Date: 05/02/2002
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Press Advisory

Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.



FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2002

EPA PROPOSES TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM
NEW LARGE MARINE DIESEL ENGINES

Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824 / milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


EPA proposed new regulations on April 30 to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from new large marine diesel engines used primarily for propulsion power on ocean-going vessels such as container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and cruise ships. While the vessels that use these engines can be flagged in the United States and in other countries, the proposed standards would apply only to engines on U.S.-flagged vessels. Manufacturers of these marine diesel engines have already implemented engine changes to reduce NOx emissions. The marine diesel engine contribution to local NOx inventories can be high in commercial ports where they operate, which are often located in ozone non-attainment areas. In Baton Rouge/New Orleans, La., and Wilmington, N.C., these marine engines contribute about seven percent of mobile source NOx. In Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Corpus Christi, Texas, they account for about five percent of NOx. In addition, these ships can have a significant impact on inventories in coastal areas without large commercial ports such as Santa Barbara, Calif., where it is estimated that engines on ocean-going marine vessels contribute about 37 percent of total NOx. Large marine diesel engines account for about three percent of national mobile source PM emissions. PM exposure from diesel exhaust can irritate and inflame lungs and potentially aggravate asthma symptoms, especially in children. Most of the particulate emissions from these engines is a result of the high sulfur content of the fuel used. EPA is also requesting comment on whether a fuel sulfur content limitshould be set for the fuel used in these engines. An April 30 deadline to have a proposed rulemaking signed is part of EPA’s settlement agreement with the Earth Island Institute. The proposal and related documents are available at: www.epa.gov/otaq.

COUNCIL OF THE COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION
INITIATES SEARCH FOR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Maria Pia Tamburri 202-564-4355 / tamburri.maria@epa.gov

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)-- composed of Canadian Environment Minister David Anderson, Mexican Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Victor Lichtinger and EPA Administrator Christie Whitman -- has announced that it will initiate a search for a new Executive Director for the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation. The term of the current Executive Director, Janine Ferretti, ends on June 10. The role of Executive Director rotates among the three NAFTA parties and a national search will be conducted by the Council under the management of the United States. Ferretti will conclude more than four and a half years of dedicated service as Executive Director of the CEC. Under Ferretti’s leadership, the CEC has developed and implemented key initiatives supporting the Commission’s mandate to address regional environmental concerns and to promote effective enforcement of environmental law. The CEC was established by Canada, Mexico and the United States to build cooperation among North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners in implementing the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, the environmental side accord to NAFTA. For additional information contact, Michel Clroux, Chief, Media Relations, Environment Canada at 819-953-4016 or Kelly Morgan, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of the Environment at 819-997-1441.
EPA CELEBRATES AMERICAN WETLANDS MONTH

Robin Woods 202-564-7841 / woods.robin@epa.gov

As part of the Year of Clean Water, the nation will celebrate American Wetlands Month throughout May. This year's observance will focus on protecting some of the nation's unique wetlands. EPA, the Izaak Walton League and other federal and local agencies and non-profit groups have scheduled activities around the country throughout the month. The calendar of nationwide events is located at: www.iwla.org/sos/awm/events. Activities kick off with an EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency 5K Run and 2K Walk on May 4 in Arlington, Va., to help fund the restoration of a local wetland. Additional activities are planned on the Mall in Washington, D.C., including a National Park Service fair on May 3-4 and on May 18 a family fair at the U.S. Botanic Gardens. On May 16, the Environmental Law Institute, EPA and other federal agencies will honor the winners of the annual National Wetland Awards. The annual awards honor individuals who have made an innovative effort for wetland conservation, research or educational projects at the regional, state or local level. Winning photos from EPA's first Wetlands Photo Contest will be on display. Wetlands are transition areas between land and water, combining elements of both, such as grasses and other plant life that spend at least part of the year in shallow water. Some wetlands are more commonly known as marshes, swamps and bogs. They are nature's nurseries, providing habitat to protect early plant and aquatic life. Migrating birds also use wetlands to rest and feed. Wetlands are great spots for fishing, canoeing and bird-watching. They are important for flood control, acting as buffers to absorb and reduce major impacts from flooding waters. Overhalf of the nation’s original wetlands have been lost or converted to other uses, with the rate of loss declining dramatically over the last 30 years. EPA strives to achieve no net loss of wetlands and move towards an annual net gain. Additional information on wetlands and how the public can help is available at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands.

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