Court date lacking in state lawsuit over ship pollution rules

August 1, 2012 

JUNEAU -- A court date has yet to be set in Alaska's lawsuit over new rules intended to limit pollution from large ships.

Rules took effect Wednesday that cargo carriers and cruise ships to use a low-sulfur fuel within 200 miles of a significant portion of U.S. and Canadian shores. Officials in Alaska say the rules will have a disproportionate effect on the state and result in higher freight rates and pricier cruises that will hurt Alaska's economy. Last month, the state sued to block enforcement of the rules in waters off Alaska's coast.

However, the federal government has yet to file a response and a hearing has yet to be set. An assistant state attorney general declined to comment on whether there were any behind-the-scenes talks between the state and feds.

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