Single-Hull Tanker Ban in EU Advances

European Union governments agreed to ban single-hull oil tankers carrying heavy fuel in an attempt to reduce the risk of slicks like one that fouled the Spanish coast last year.

The ban still needs approval from the European Parliament. It will apply to all boats using EU ports and to vessels flying flags of EU nations elsewhere.

EU transport ministers also agreed to ban single-hull tankers more than 23 years old. Prohibition of all single-hull tankers will be phased in by 2010.