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US District Court of Alaska grants Federal motion to dismiss challenge to low sulphur fuel
The US District Court for the District of Alaska granted the motions filed by the federal government to dismiss the complaint filed by the State of Alaska and others challenging federal enforcement of the low-sulfur fuel requirements for marine vessels operating in certain Alaska coastal waters. Following adoption of the North American Emissions Control Area (NA ECA) by the IMO, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated regulations implementing the NA ECA provisions for most US waters out to 200 nautical miles offshore. The State of Alaska filed suit, contending that acceptance of the IMO Resolution by the US violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA); that enforcement of the ECA provisions violated the Treaty Clause and separation of powers; and that application of the ECA regulations to foreign vessels exceeded the EPA’s authority. The court rejected all of these contentions, finding that the Senate had specifically approved the MARPOL Convention and that Congress had adopted specific legislation to implement the air emissions provisions of the MARPOL Convention. Alaska v. Kerry, 12-cv-142 (D. AK., September 17, 2013).
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