U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler was in Maine on August 20 announcing the final rule to amend the national marine diesel engine program to delay installing certified Tier 4 marine diesel engines in certain high-speed commercial vessels. Maine boat builders informed EPA in 2017 that there are no certified Tier 4 engines with suitable performance characteristics for the vessels they need to build, specifically for high-speed commercial vessels that rely on engines with rated power between 600 and 1,400 kW that have high power density. A hearing was held in Bath, Maine in September 2019.
EPA addressed the concerns of the Maine fishermen and delayed the implementation deadline to 2024 for a single propulsion engine with maximum power output up to 1,000 kW and power density of at least 35.0 kW per liter displacement, where the vessel is made with a nonmetal hull and has a maximum length of 50 feet. There is also a waiver provision that can be used, if necessary, after 2024, for the Tier 4 standards should suitable engines continue to be unavailable.
EPA is also modifying the marine diesel engine certification program by streamlining engine certification requirements.
In 2009, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection established the first statewide marine engine repower program in the nation to replace highly emitting unregulated marine engines with cleaner new EPA Tier 3 certified engines. The Maine Clean Marine Engine Program to date has awarded $5.2 million from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act to repower 152 commercial vessels, the majority of which are lobster boats, but also include research vessels, schooners, whale watch and excursion vessels, and tugboats. Since 2009 the program is administered in a successful partnership with Maine Marine Trades Association.
This program has numerous benefits including 45% reduction in NOx of 74.85 tons/year, and economic stimulus in rural communities by potentially creating and retaining jobs for engine distributors, dealers and boatyards, and fishermen and their co-ops.
For more information on Maine’s Clean Diesel Engine Program.
For more information to apply for funding, contact Lynne Cayting 207-287-7599.