New rules curbing air pollution are coming to Bay Area ports

The Biden administration recently approved news rules to curb air pollution in the Bay Area by requiring auto carriers and chemical and oil tankers docked in the ports to shut off their engines and plug into the local power grid for electrical needs. 

The new rules were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday and will be fully implemented by Jan. 1, 2027.

Large cargo and cruise ships are already required to plug into the grid, which allows the ships to power down their engines and boilers which decreases the amount of particles and gasses emitted in the local communities. 

The new federal rules came after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) petitioned the federal government to approve the new standards due to a 2020 regulation it sought to implement. 

CARB officials claim auto carrier and tankers produce "56% of all fine particulate pollution from ocean-going vessels at berth in California ports, which when inhaled can embed in people’s lungs and bloodstreams, causing health impacts such as premature mortality, increased hospitalizations for heart and lung illness and asthma attacks." 

"Reducing pollution is especially important since communities near ports tend to be home to low-income residents and people of color," CARB officials said.

The new rules will affect ports in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco, but they are already facing lawsuits from oil companies. 


California cities make up some of nation's most polluted cities, report finds

California metropolitan areas like the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Bakersfield continue to persevere as some of the nation's most air polluted cities, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.