California's new emissions rules target diesel trucks and cargo ships

They’re the latest effort to improve air quality in the state.

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California air quality officials have passed two new measures aimed at reducing pollution from diesel trucks and ships. One rule introduces new emissions standards for heavy-duty diesel trucks, while the other requires more ships docked at ports to either plug into electric power or use other technology to reduce harmful emissions. The state has the worst-polluted air in the country, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The “Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Regulation” requires truck manufacturers to comply with tougher emissions standards, revamp engine testing procedures, and further extend engine warranties to ensure emissions are reduced, according to a statement from the California Air Resources Board. The rule targets nitrogen oxides, which are a major component of smog. Once the rule is fully phased in by 2031, CARB expects it will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in the state by more than 23 tons per day.

Ships are expected to produce more nitrogen oxides than trucks in Southern California by 2023, the Times reported. The “At-Berth” rule requires that every ship entering a regulated California port either plug into shore-based electricity or use CARB-approved technology to reduce harmful emissions -- which could include plugging into a machine that cleans their exhaust. This rule will go into effect in 2023, according to a statement.

While these measures target big polluters, they could also change major facets of the state’s economy. The regulations face “significant opposition” from truck manufacturers, truckers, dockworkers and others, according to the Times.