World Bulletin/News Desk
The state of Alaska sued the Obama administration on Friday to block environmental regulations that would require ships sailing in southern Alaska waters to use low-sulfur fuel.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, challenges the new federal regulations, which require the use of low-sulfur fuel for large marine vessels such as cargo and cruise ships.
The rule is scheduled to be enforced starting on Aug. 1 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard for ships operating within 200 miles (322 kilometres) of the shores of southeastern and south-central Alaska, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit faults the EPA, the Department of Homeland Security and others for using a marine treaty amendment as the basis for the new federal regulations without waiting for ratification of that amendment by the U.S. Senate.
The Alaska Department of Law said in a statement that the low-sulfur-fuel requirement would be costly, jacking up prices for products shipped by marine vessel and harming Alaska's cruise industry.
"Alaska relies heavily on maritime traffic, both for goods shipped to and from the state, and for the cruise ship passengers who support thousands of Alaskan jobs," Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty said in a statement.
"There are reasonable and equally effective alternatives for the Secretary and the EPA to consider which would still protect the environment but dramatically reduce the severe impact these regulations will have on Alaskan jobs and families."
Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a major shipper operating in Alaska, estimates that the move to low-sulfur fuel will increase its costs by 8 percent, Geraghty said.
A spokesman for EPA's Seattle regional office was not immediately available to comment on the lawsuit.
The treaty amendment at issue is a 2010 agreement under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, or MARPOL. The United States has signed onto MARPOL, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted the 2010 amendment.
Domestic enforcement of the amendment is not permitted without ratification by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, Assistant Alaska Attorney General Seth Beausang said. He said the EPA also erred by failing to conduct an environmental analysis.
"The only thing they relied on was the treaty amendment in issuing the regulations," he told Reuters, adding that Alaska was not coordinating its effort to overturn the regulations with any other state.
The lawsuit names as defendants the EPA and its director, Lisa Jackson, the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Coast Guard and its commandant, Admiral Robert Papp, and Clinton.
Changes to labor code will only take effect after other completing decrees are signed before end-2017
Kurd region govt is forcing Kirkuk officials to show support for next week’s referendum on independence, Turkmen leader says
Moscow has 'intensified its policy of occupation' in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili tells UN
Transport for London said the conduct of Uber, which has around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in the British capital, had raised concerns.
Police suspect man helped terrorists acquire massive amounts of explosives
Company’s Twitter account repeatedly sent concerned consumers to fake website critical of its handling of data breach
Leaders object to KRG referendum vote, agree to fight terror groups with ‘determination’
Islamophobia threatening alienation among Europe's Muslims despite high attachment to home countries
Now everything is down to those plans becoming reality, the lender cautioned.
Turkish aid agency responds in aftermath of 8.2-magnitude earthquake which stuck on Tuesday
Thousands took to the streets of the Mediterranean seaside city on Wednesday after police detained key members of the team allegedly organising the vote slated for October 1 in a region deeply divided over independence.
Terrorist group loses five more villages in Saladin province north of Baghdad, local security sources say
Local media reported that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union chief, was sworn in Thursday as a member of parliament for the governing African National Congress.
EU says CETA free-trade deal with Canada will not be 'fully implemented' until all member states ratify it
May flew home with Johnson overnight from New York, where they had attended the UN General Assembly, landing at dawn before holding a special cabinet meeting in Downing Street.
Protests in Greek capital as Eldorado mining firm tells Athens to issue delayed licences