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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the maritime industry's appeals to overturn California's offshore air pollution rules that would require vessels to use low-sulfur fuel within 24 miles of the coast.
Experts say the new ruling will reduce sulfur emissions by 90 percent, prevent nearly 100,000 cases of asthma and an estimated 3,500 premature deaths.
The state's Air Resources Board, which adopted the rules in July 2009, says the rules will increase the cost of port calls for ships by $30,000 per ship, or an estimated $360m a year. However, the board says the cost is minimal when broken down by cargo, adding just 12.5 cents to the cost of a plasma TV.
In 2015 similar regulations from the federal government will be imposed to the 200 mile economic zone around the U.S.
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