The Alaskan cruise industry was unable to insert its pilot project language into the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill which has now passed in the House and Senate.
The bill was an opportunity for the cruise industry to address the EPA's recent provision designating 200 miles of North American coastline as an Emissions Control Area.
Alaska's cruise vessels operate completely within the ECA, and under the designation would be subject to strict regulations regarding sulfur levels in ship fuel.
The cruise industry in Alaska is continuing to pursue legislation which would separate Alaska from the lower 48 with regards to the ECA.
Senator Mark Begich spoke with EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in Washington, D.C. Thursday in what he hopes will be the first in a series of discussions on the matter. "It's clear that there are different circumstances for this opportunity to comply with this law. It is not the same everywhere in the country," he said.
Representatives from the EPA declined to comment on the matter.