California regulators extend clean-fuel shipping zone beyond Channel Islands

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File photo: A container ship being unloaded is visible during the launch voyage of the Aquarium of the Pacific's new 'Urban Ocean' cruise, May 27, 2010 in San Pedro Bay off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

California regulators have extended the state's offshore clean-fuel shipping zone beyond the Channel Islands.

The Navy has been complaining that ships are traveling around the Southern California island chain and through its Point Mugu Sea Range to avoid state Air Resources Board regulations closer to shore.

California's clean-air rule, the world's toughest ship pollution regulation, took effect in July 2009. The state's s coastal zone encompassed a strip 24 nautical miles wide, including traditional shipping lanes between the Channel Islands and the shore.

The Los Angeles Times says that since the rule went into effect, an average two ships a day traveled through the restricted 36,000-square-mile area where the Navy tests missiles, ships, submarines and aircraft.

The Air Resources Board voted Thursday to extend the clean-air zone to 40 miles.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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