Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) paid $630,625 in penalties for violating the Ocean-Going Vessel At-Berth Regulation to the California Resources Board (CARB). The violations were first discovered during a routine audit of the company's visits to the port of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2014.
According to MarineLink, an investigation into MSC found more than 2,500 violations for both the Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach fleets for failing to reduce auxiliary engine power generation by at least 50 percent. It was also found to have exceeded limits for auxiliary engine run time as required by the At-Berth regulation. The regulation was adopted in 2007 and designed to reduce emissions from diesel auxiliary engines on ships while berthing at a California port.
"Ocean-going vessels are significant contributors to air pollution," says CARB enforcement division chief Todd Sax in a statement to MarineLink. "Even in port, their auxiliary engines generate toxic diesel particulate pollution that impacts not only port-adjacent communities, but also entire inland regions. This regulation helps to protect all Californians and is necessary to ensure we meet our clean air goals."
MarineLink reports that MSC cooperated with the investigation and converted its California fleets to include 100 percent shore power-equipped vessels. The company has no further violations of the At-Berth regulation at the ports. The money from the fine was paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research.