State air pollution regulators proposed a final rule that requires ships docked at the state’s major ports to cut emissions. Under the regulation, pollution reductions can be achieved by turning off engines and plugging into shore side power to meet onboard electricity needs or installing pollution control devices. The California Air Resources Board is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule December 6. Each ship at port can require up to 2 MW of power, particularly energy-intense refrigerator ships, the Air Board said in a staff report on the proposed rule released October 19. While plugging into the grid may be the easiest way to meet the standards, the Air Board noted that competing technologies, including portable fuel cell power plants for ships to plug into and advanced emissions controls for engines, also are available. Depending upon which technology the shipping industry uses to meet the cleanup requirements, the Air Board has estimated the plugged in ships could suck up more than 800 MW from the state grid. The measure is aimed at reducing annual emissions of particulate matter by 85 tons and nitrogen oxides by 4,700 tons. The total expected cost of complying with it was put at $1.8 billion, including capital costs to bring power to the docks and to retrofit ships to use shore side power. The figure also includes annual operating costs through 2020 for passenger and refrigerator ships and through 2030 for container ships.