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Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL ) (NYSE: CUK ) said today that it's reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and Transport Canada to implement on-board systems to reduce air pollution from its cruise ships and large marine vessels.
The company will spend $180 million to add exhaust gas cleaning technology to 32 of its ships, including vessels from Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Cunard. The EPA said in a press release that, "These new controls combine the use of sulfur oxide scrubbers with diesel particulate filters -- thus combining technologies well known in the power plant and automotive sectors, but not previously used together on a marine vessel."
In a statement, Carnival's CEO Arnold Donald said: "This is a significant accomplishment as well as an important milestone for our company. Working together with the EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, and Transport Canada, we have developed a breakthrough solution for cleaner air that will set a new course in environmental protection for years to come."
Once the technology is in place, the ships will exceed current North American Emission Control Area (ECA) standards. The EPA said ECA standards will result in the prevention of tens of thousands of premature deaths each year, and relieve respiratory symptoms for about 5 million people.
Carnival will now seek approval from flag states to allow the company to test the exhaust gas cleaning technology.