Compromise found on air quality regulations for sport fishing boats

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Sport fishing boat owners are breathing a sigh of relief after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reviewed commercial fishing boat regulations.

CARB wanted boat owners to upgrade to newer, less polluting engines, but boat owners argued that the new technology CARB needed was either not available or could not be installed in many boats. oldest sport fishing.

Ultimately, the regulations could have shut down many small businesses or the cost of upgrades would be passed on to consumers.

For months, Ken Franke, president of the Sportfishing Association of California, has been asking CARB for a compromise.

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“Of course they found one. It’s pretty consistent with what we offered at the start,” he said.

Franke said CARB executives traveled to San Diego and met with boat owners to discuss options.

“(CARB) got on a boat, saw how boats worked. Because if you fish along the coast on a boat, the boat anchors. The engine goes out. The presence of the boat does not mean necessarily the machines work. And they started to really understand what we do and how we do it,” he said.

Franke said there are about 193 commercial fishing boats statewide and most have already worked on upgrading to cleaner engines.

“Since 1998, half the fleet has already moved to Tier Three, the best engines available, the cleanest in the world that we have now. And the rest of them are planning for that,” Franke said. . “So it’s the best model that reduces all emissions.”

At the CARB board meeting last week, members voted unanimously on new regulations requiring shipowners to upgrade to the next cleaner engines available on the market by 2024.

A review will be carried out in 2024 in the hope that zero emission technology for sport fishing vessels can develop.

While Franke said boat owners are happy with the deal, he says the real winners here are the consumers.

“The winners in this area are frankly the people who don’t have the money to own a boat. The groups of kids we took on these boats at no cost to them. Their first opportunity to go into the ocean , to experience it , find out about it All of our ocean labs, our veterans groups, our state disabled groups…all of those people that we reached out to and with we’ve been working for all these years, all of their programs remain intact, giving them access to the ocean at a reasonable cost, that’s the big deal, at a reasonable cost,” he said.

The Coalition for Clean Air said the new CARB regulations could save more than 500 lives by reducing toxic emissions.

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