The US-based Marine Environment Protection Committee has given the green light for plans to declare designated areas of the US and Canada’s coastal waters as an Emission Control Area (ECA).

The ECA would help regulate harmful emissions such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions off the coastal waters of the US and Canada.

At present, only the North Sea is listed for SOx emissions control under the amended annex.

The ECA is likely to become effective from 1 July 2010.