In 2010, a team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mounted instruments on an aircraft and the vessel Atlantis to capture emissions from container ships off California's coast. The team found that as container ships shifted from bottom-of-the-barrel bunker fuel to low-sulfur fuels, air pollution plummeted, with some pollutants dropping by as much as 90 percent. Surprised? Neither are we.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has fined two shipping companies for failing to switch from bottom-of-the-barrel bunker fuel to clean-burning, low-sulfur fuel when sailing within 24 miles of California's coast, as required by state law adopted back in 2008.