A resolution to reduce air pollution emissions from ocean vessels in Santa Barbara County, presented by First District Supervisor Salud Carajal, has been adopted by The National Association of Counties (NACo). See full resolution here.

“Ocean-going ships are a major source of uncontrolled toxic emissions that contribute to both local air pollution and worldwide greenhouse gases, including nitrogen oxides, diesel particulate matter, sulfur and other airborne toxics,” Carajal said in a County press release.

Ocean vessels are known to burn some of the dirtiest fuels available, thus causing pollution on coastal and inland regions.

As a result of this resolution, the NACo plans to lobby that Congress create legislation that would push the federal government to pursue possibilities to control air pollution. As part of the Clean Air Act, the NACo will also begin working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create regulations on marine vessels.

Ships traveling the Santa Barbara Channel produce 50 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in the county, as stated by the release. If unregulated, this percentage is projected to climb to 75 percent by 2020, according to the County Air Pollution Control District.

Also requested is the cooperation with the International Maritime Organization to design, “Emission Control Areas,” which will regulate strict standards to control dangerous emissions.

The resolution put forth by Carbajal was adopted at the NACo national conference on July 28.

“More than 70 percent of the cancer risk from air toxics is caused by diesel exhaust particulate, considered the number one airborne carcinogen in California,” claimed the resolution.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at ldettorre@publicceo.com