The Cruise Lines International Association today urged the U.S. Senate to act promptly on legislation that would permit the United States to participate fully in shaping a new international treaty to curb air emissions from commercial shipping.

Without timely Senate action, the United States delegation - led by the U.S. Coast Guard - would not be permitted to vote on important amendments to the treaty, to be considered at a meeting of the International Maritime Organization in October.  The treaty is known as MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Annex VI.

In a letter to Senators, CLIA president Terry Dale pointed out that the far-reaching amendments will set more stringent standards for maritime air emissions, which will provide air quality benefits for America's coastlines and port communities.

Specifically, the amendments will ban the use of ozone-depleting substances and set international standards to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
The United States has been a leader in discussions on these and other strengthening amendments, but without Senate action will not be considered an official party to the upcoming negotiations, Dale noted.

On the other hand, Senate action on implementing legislation "will send an important message that the United States does not wish to sit on the sidelines and that we are committed to sound public policy that truly benefits the global environment," Dale said.