EPA to Trial Fly-Over ECA Enforcement

Tuesday June 4, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Enforcement Agency (EPA) is to trial vessel fly-overs to monitor North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) compliance, the UK Protection & Indemnity Club (UK P&I) has told its members.

The trials will begin in the upper Chesapeake Bay area, and EPA said it is expected that the fly-over program will be extended to include other areas, although no specific dates or locations were given.

"The new fly-over trials support further targeting by EPA and USCG to ensure vessels are compliant with the MARPOL Annex VI rules as the one year anniversary of the ECA implementation approaches," UK P&I said.

"Members are advised to ensure fuel oil changeover procedures are in place, and that proper records, logs and fuel sampling are being carried out on board."

The North American ECA came into effect on August 1, 2012 and effectively means that since that date all ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. and Canada coastline must use a marine fuel with a sulfur content not exceeding 1.00% by weight.

A legislative delay in Canada meant the country has only been enforcing the new regulations since May 8, 2013, but in the interim period Transport Canada encouraged voluntary compliance from vessels operating in its waters.