05/13/2015 12:25 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 01:12 EDT

New international shipping rules to protect Arctic waters

An international body is poised to enact new rules to ensure cleaner shipping through fragile Arctic seas.The International Maritime Organization is scheduled to vote on tough regulations by the end of this week that would outlaw the discharge of oily water or other waste.Those rules, expected to pass, will be in addition to other agreements passed late last year that say northern shippers must avoid marine mammals.Environmental groups call the news a big step forward in protecting an increasingly ice-free Arctic.But Kevin Harun (HEHR'-uhn) of Pacific Environment, a group helping to draft the new rules, says big gaps remain.He says the maritime organization hasn't dealt with hazards posed by heavy fuel oil or climate-change impacts of black carbon spewed by ships.