North American ECA has entered into force
Emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from ships in the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) will be subject to more stringent controls than the limits that apply globally, as a result of the entry into force as from 1 August 2011 of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This means that there are currently three designated ECAs, the other two being sulphur oxide ECAs: the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea area.
The North American ECA will take effect 12 months after the amendments enter into force, giving the shipping industry one year before it has to comply with the ECA requirements. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the cost of implementing the ECA standards is estimated at US$3.2 billion, while the health-related benefits could be as much as US$110 billion in the US in 2020.
Source: Sustainable Shipping News, 1 August 2011