At the 2012 State of the Industry panel at the Miami Cruise Conference, Christine Duffy, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), said that there were ongoing efforts to develop “weighted solutions” to the impending North America Emissions Control Area (ECA).

She noted that the ECA could take some 14,000 jobs and reduce economic impact of the cruise industry in North America by $1.5 billion.

She continued by saying that “substantial work remains to be done,” nevertheless fueling rumors that the cruise industry is working to receive an exemption to the ECA from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, met with the EPA last week.

“We’ve reached the point where time is becoming of the essence,” he said, noting ongoing talks with the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This has provoked an intense conversation between our industry and the United States Government,” he explained, adding that there may be issues finding the correct fuel on the West Coast when the first stage of the ECA comes into effect this August.

Goldstein said that Canada has said that they cannot expect the industry to burn fuel that is not available,.

Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America, will meet with the EPA this week.

Both executives noted that the ECA may drive deployment decisions, especially when it comes into full effect in 2015.