A deal had reportedly been reached that would exempt some ships that haul raw materials in the Great Lakes from the proposed North American Emissions Control Area (ECA).

A partial exemption from the EPA proposal was allegedly asked for by the Lake Carriers’ Association, which represents 55 ships that operate in the Great Lakes. The association noted that the EPA rules would ground 13 steamships, and force another 13 to use fuel that they claimed was 70 percent more expensive than their current fuel.

Under the reported deal, steamships would be exempt, and 13 more ships will apply to the EPA for waivers. Noted by various companies would be that added cargo on the roads and freight train lines would add more pollution to the air compared to the current vessels.

Currently, the EPA proposed ECA, which extends 200 nautical miles from US and Canadian costs, would require ships to burn less than 10,000 parts per million sulfur by July 1, 2012, with 1,000 parts per million sulfur requirements going into effect in 2015.

For more coverage of the North American EPA-proposed ECA, see the Fall edition of the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine.