Speaking during a panel discussion at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference this week in Puerto Rico, Michele M. Paige, president, FCCA, said that the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is working with the EPA regarding the upcoming North American Emissions Control Area (ECA), and while there is no news to share, “it is very encouraging,” hinting that positive news may be coming before the end of the year.

The upcoming ECA, which will start to go into place in 2012, with full sulfur-content rules starting in 2015, will require ships to burn significantly more-expensive low-sulfur fuel to meet emission requirements within 200 miles of American and Canadian coast lines.

Prompted further, a port official hinted to Cruise Industry News that they thought there was a gradual fuel-switching plan coming into place that would adjust the 200-mile requirements, but that may be industry grapevine.