A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected a state regulation that reduced emissions from ships, dealing a blow to California’s attempt to combat one of the major sources of smog-forming pollution in the Los Angeles region.
The ruling means that the state must seek federal approval before imposing pollution limits on the thousands of cargo ships, cruise ships and other marine vessels that visit its ports.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that California’s new regulation is preempted by federal law. The Clean Air Act allows California to set its own standards for various vehicles and engines if it receives waivers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state argued that in this case it didn’t technically need a waiver, but the judges disagreed.