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Environmental awareness & ways to mitigate pollution by ships
Every effort is to be made to
conserve and protect the environment from marine, atmospheric and other forms of pollution, including office-based waste. The following types and sources of possible environmental pollution are recognised:
A case in the United States of America in which criminal charges were made
against a major ship management company has highlighted the need for total
compliance and solid record keeping. The case involved violations regarding the
operation of the Oily Water Separator (OWS) and inaccurate/wrong entries in the Oil
Record Book. The fact that such violations can occur outside USA waters is of no
interest to the USA authorities and they will take legal action regardless.
- Oil. Including oil and related products carried as cargo, fuel and oily waste.
- Chemicals, liquefied gases and other noxious liquid substances carried as cargo in bulk and chemical waste.
Paints and chemicals used for onboard maintenance, by their nature contain hazardous substances. Accordingly the disposal of used or expired paints, chemicals and their containers must be strictly controlled in order to avoid unnecessary pollution. All containers will show hazardous information and most will also include advice on safe disposal. This advice must be followed wherever possible. If there is any doubt as to the safe and proper disposal, the containers must be retained onboard until they can be landed ashore as waste.
- Dangerous goods. Including cargoes carried in bulk and packaged form as well as other packaged and containerised goods
that may be hazardous to the environment if spilled or lost.
- Garbage, including bio and non-biodegradable waste.
- Sewage : To avoid pollution by sewage, the vessel’s sewage facilities must be in good operational condition and in compliance with the relevant MARPOL regulations. The Company is to be advised if the sewage system is inoperable. A survey of the equipment is to be carried out at intervals not exceeding five years.
The USCG requires that the sewage system is approved by the relevant authority and that the vessel has on board a valid International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate.
Reference is to be made to Annex IV of MARPOL for further information. Vessels calling US West Coast must also be aware of the “No-Discharge Zone” that is enforced by the Californian EPA
- Ballast water. This includes the possibility of aquatic organisms or water-borne pathogens being transported in ships’ water
- Anti-fouling paints and their effect on shellfish and other aquatic life .
It has been proved that certain types of anti-fouling paints that include Tri-butylin (TBT) compounds can create adverse impacts on both the marine environment as well as indirectly on human health.
These paints slowly leach out Organotin compounds which were found to be harmful to mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
Modern vessels using anti-fouling systems now do not have Organotin (TBT) based paint and hence leaching of harmful compounds in water cannot take place.
- Cargo vapour emissions including their toxic effect on health, climate and plant life.
- Exhaust emissions, including gases and unburnt hydrocarbon particles and their contribution to smog, acid rain and the
- Ozone depleting substances, including CFCs and halon gases and their effect on global warming
- Noise levels from machinery and its effect on ships’ crews as well as on local populations.
- Office generated waste, including waste paper, special waste and other consumables.
Any form of illegal discharge is purely an allegation and
needs substantiated before further action is taken by the port state authorities.On environmental issue following are some basic check items to ensure no illegal discharge took place :
1. The operational condition of the 15 PPM alarm monitor
2. That each flange of the from the Oily Water separator discharge is sealed
up to the overboard valve.
3. That same seal number has been recorded.
4. That the Oil Water Separator is in order and free from defects with all
prescribes up to date.
In a recent case study a cargo vessel has been cited for
causing pollution off the French Coast after being overflown by a spotter aircraft.
The vessel had been discharging through the OWS immediately prior to the overflight and
reports it was in full compliance with MARPOL
The French coast is a particularly sensitive area at present and overflights take place on a
regular basis. Fines are substantial and the legal process can involve the Seniors Officers
being detained in France for a considerable period.
To avoid doubt, vessels in transit must avoid any form of discharge when off the French
coast, regardless of distance, even if in compliance with MARPOL. Vessels on coastal
voyages in this area must endeavour to discharge slops ashore.
France is highlighted here, however in all parts of the world, countries are becoming
increasingly more vigilant in searching for vessels that pollute their coasts. Before
commencing a discharge in any location, even when in compliance with MARPOL the risks
must be carefully considered and if a less risky alternative can be found, then this is the route
that is to be taken.
If you have any concerns regarding the condition of the OWS onboard your vessel please inform your management ashore.
OWS equipment must at all times be maintained in first class working condition.
15ppm alarms and shut-off must be regularly tested and calibrated
The bridge must be advised at all times when the equipment is in use in order that
they can keep a watch astern
The Company may send information in the form of Bulletin or posters on environmental issues. Masters are encouraged to disseminate this information amongst officers and crew and display posters as appropriate in order to increase environmental awareness onboard.
Notes on environmental issue :
- Comply with mandatory rules and regulations, taking into account codes, guidelines and standards from maritime organisations;
- Actively promote environmental awareness by training and education of its employees;
- Operate offices and ships taking into consideration the efficient use of energy and materials;
- Ensure that residual wastes are disposed of in a safe and responsible manner;
- Wherever practicable, adopt the principles of re-use and recycling;
- Suppliers and contractors working under direct control and affiliated companies apply environmental standards
consistent with standard IMO guideline;
- Participate in discussion with relevant authorities with a view to being aware of current environmental issues and topics and to
develop measures to minimise risk to the environment;
- Ensure compliance by undertaking regular inspections and audits along with the rectification of any non-conformities.
How to mitigate greenhouse gases and protect marine environment
Notes on Oily Water Separators / Oil Record Books
Pollution by other harmful substances & harmful packaged goods
Pollution by garbage [ Marpol annex V ]
Pollution by sewage [ Marpol annex IV ]
Pollution of air [ Marpol annex VI ]
Prohibition on use of harmful (TBT) anti-fouling paints
Pollution by ballast water
Prevention of pollution while carryiung out overboard maintenance
Environment friendly purchasing
Decommissioning / ship recycling
Other info pages !
Ships Charterparties Related terms & guideline
Stevedores injury How to prevent injury onboard
Environmental issues How to prevent marine pollution
Cargo & Ballast Handling Safety Guideline
Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
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prevention of pollution and many safety guideline. The procedures explained here are only indicative,
not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.
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