$5 million for clean vessels in California

Loans to be offered to small businesses wishing to upgrade to cleaner operating vessels.



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Updated on 16 Mar 2012 17:18 GMT

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has received US$5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds to help clean up a variety of vessels that operate in California's ports and harbours.

The funds are designed to reduce emissions from a variety of marine vessels that use diesel engines, such as charter fishing boats, commercial fishing boats, crew and supply vessels, ferry and excursion boats, pilot vessels, tow boats, tug-boats and work boats.

ARB said the funds will be used to guarantee loans for small businesses who wish to upgrade to cleaner operating vessels, but may not meet today’s stringent borrowing standards.

"This one-time influx of federal funds makes it possible for small business owners to qualify for a loan to upgrade their boats, even if they have less than stellar credit," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "This will help continue our efforts to clean up the air in California’s ports and harbor communities."

To be eligible a company owning one of these vessels must have fewer than 500 employees, and conduct the majority of their business in California or regulated California waters. In addition, the company must meet a participating lender’s underwriting standards. A list of these lenders is available at the address listed below.

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cpcfa/calcap/contributor/lenders.pdf

The funds will be available up until July 31, 2012.

"ARB’s Commercial Harbor Craft regulation is designed to substantially reduce dangerous emissions and these funds are designed to help advance that," ARB said.

"ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy," ARB added.