California’s air pollution regulators have clamped down on big-rig trucks, buses, cargo ships and various manufacturers.
Their latest target is a far smaller industry: sport-fishing and whale-watching operators, whose aging diesel-powered boats are responsible for what officials say is an outsize amount of dangerous pollution that lingers over the state’s marinas and bays.
The California Air Resources Board meets Friday to consider a measure that would require sport-fishing, whale-watching and other excursion boat owners to install the newest and cleanest diesel engines and potentially also a filter to reduce exhaust pipe emissions.
The boat owners are mostly mom-and-pop businesses that cater to blue-collar anglers and families. They say that they don’t have the finances — unlike other big businesses — to meet the proposed regulations and that many may be forced to close up shop.
“I’m terrified. I’m supposed to learn a new trade now?” said Jeff Jessop, 46, part owner of three fishing boats and a landing in San Pedro who has been in the business since he was a teenager working as a deckhand. “I thought this was my future and my retirement.”
Los Angeles Times, 19 November 2021