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The rule comes on the heels of a proposal last March by the United States and Canada to designate thousands of miles of the two countries' coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, begins consideration of the ECA plan this month, which would result in stringent standards for large ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of Canada and the United States, according to the EPA.
The proposed rulemaking is designed to reflect the IMO's stringent ECA standards and broader worldwide program. The rule adds two new tiers of NOX standards and strengthens the agency's existing diesel fuel program for these ships.
"Lowering emissions from American ships will help safeguard our port communities, and demonstrate American leadership in protecting our health and the environment around the globe," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, in a statement.