A Blue Sea system order is a government-ordered system for the installation and operation of a new air pollutant emission control system, such as nitrogen oxides or sulfur dioxide, that improves the safety and quality of the air.
The order must be issued within six months of the environmental impact assessment being completed and must include a list of emissions reduction options.
If approved, a system will be installed at a designated site.
The site must be within a designated buffer zone, which means it must be located on land.
Under the Blue Sea System Order, it is expected that the emissions reduction system will: allow for a reduction of the nitrogen oxide emissions that are emitted from the engine and/or from other sources that contribute to the nitrogen oxidation of the atmosphere; reduce the sulfur dioxide emissions that cause ozone depletion; reduce ozone pollution and ozone damage; and reduce the number of pollutants that can be emitted from any one source.
To date, the U.S. EPA has issued 1,769 blue sea systems orders, according to the EPA website.
Blue sea systems have been installed in the United States since 1996 and can take years to become operational.
According to the National Air Pollution Association (NAPA), the United Kingdom has the most Blue Sea systems orders issued, followed by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
For the latest news on air quality, visit airquality.gov.