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Environmental management program - Ways to prevent pollution from ships

International trade is the lifeblood of the global economy and 90 percent of this trade via oceangoing merchant ships. However, these cargo-carrying vessels also being reported as one of the world's most polluting factors. According to a report published in May 2019 in the Financial Times magazine, more than 90,000 ships and crisscrossed ocean average a year. They are burning nearly 2bn barrels of the most massive fuel oil made from the dirtiest dregs of a barrel of crude and carrying oil and gas, chemicals, metals, and other goods. The shipping industry thus contributes to the pollution of the environment through everyday operations.

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But what are the sources of pollution from ships? We have summarized below some of the major factors and an Environmental Management Program for a futute improvement:
  1. Air emissions
  2. Antifouling paint
  3. Sewage & Garbage
  4. Oil release/spills
  5. Ballast water
  6. Ozone Depleting Substances
  7. Noxious substances
  8. Ship recycling

The purpose of Environmental Management program is report and review following:

  1. When the Environmental Policy is reviewed by the Management and the objectives and targets are changed
  2. When a new significant environmental aspect and impact have emerged
  3. When need to conduct a review has arisen as a result of an internal or external audit; and
  4. When a need to conduct a review has arisen because of the building of a new ship

Shipowners and ship managers must refer to IMO guidelines, adhere to regulations, and comply with international standards set out in MARPOL. Vessel General Permit (VGP): Stricter regulations apply to ships sailing in the waters of the United States. They must comply with the US Clean Water Act and hold a Vessel General Permit. Please also read both regulations where appropriate.

The latest version of Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulates incidental discharges from vessels operating in US waters. International and governmental regulations The latest VGP includes: In total, there are 27 discharge streams identified in VGP. There are also additional requirements applicable to specific vessel types. EPA has also improved the efficiency of several of the VGP's administrative requirements, including allowing electronic recordkeeping, requiring an annual report instead of the one-time report and annual non-compliance report.

The shipping industry contributes 13.6% of global sulfur dioxide and large amounts of toxic nitrous oxide and particulate emissions. (IOP, 2011). Officers! While the movement of cargo by ship is the least environmentally damaging mode of transport on a per tonne/nm basis, ships contribute significantly to global emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter (PM).

It is estimated that ship exhaust gas emissions account for approximately 10% of global SOx emissions, 7% of global NOx emissions, and 2.7% of CO2 emissions. Land-based pollution continues to decrease, through stricter environmental regulations by many nations. However, it is estimated that by 2020, ship emissions of NOx and SOx in the EU could surpass total emissions generated by all land-based mobile, stationery, and other sources in Europe. These emissions cause a variety of problems, including acid rain, global warming, and health problems. These include the increased risk of premature death from heart and pulmonary diseases and worsened respiratory disease.

Two pollutants - fine particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone - are considered to have the most significant health impacts. PM pollution is estimated to cause 200,000 deaths per year in Europe. Ground-level ozone comes from photochemical reactions between nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.

While ships have low CO2 emissions per tonne/nm, their share of global CO2 emissions is still significant at a rate of 2.7%. If emissions from shipping continue as projected, then they could constitute between 12% and 18% of the total CO2 emissions in 2050. While progress is being made towards the reduction of NOx and SOx, emissions the IMO is coming under increased pressure to address the issue of GHG emissions. NOx is a generic term for the mono-nitrogen oxides, NO and NO2(nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide). They are produced from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air during combustion, especially at high temperatures. NOx contributes to acid rain and respiratory problems. It can also combine with other pollutants to form toxic chemicals. Ground-level ozone occurs as a result of photochemical reactions between NOx and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight

Sulphur Oxides (SOx)

SOx gases are formed when fuel containing sulfur, such as coal and oil, is burned. SO2 dissolves in water vapor to form sulphuric acid. It interacts with other gases and particles in the air to form sulfates and other chemicals that can be harmful to people and their environment. SOx causes acid rain, respiratory problems in humans, and plant and water damage. Despite the limit of 3.5% sulfur in heavy fuel, it still contributes to over 10% of global sulfur emissions. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are hydrocarbon-based chemical compounds that can be both human-made and naturally occurring. There are many types of VOC; a well-known example is formaldehyde, which is found in paint and adhesives. VOCs have high vapor pressures, meaning they can readily enter the surrounding air at low temperatures and affect the environment and human health. Besides regulations already passed, IMO currently preparing a regulation on the reduction of CO2emissions from shipping in the form of a CO2 indexing scheme.

In July 2009, IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), at its 59th session, finalized a package of technical and operational measures to reduce GHG emissions from shipping. It aimed at improving the energy efficiency for new ships through improved design and propulsion technologies and all ships, new and existing, improving operational practices.

These measures, some of which could have significant impacts on shipping in the future, are covered in the next unit.

NOx Requirements

MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 outlines a stepped approach to reduce NOx emissions for all diesel engines with a power output of more than 130 kW installed. The regulation impacts ships constructed after 1st January 2000, and engines of 130 kW or above have had a major conversion. All engines which meet the above requirement will require an EIAPP Certificate. Different tiers of NOx control have been introduced based on ship construction date, with the limit value determined based on engine rated speed. However, in the case of additional or non-identical replacement engines, the applicable tier will be set by the installation date. Tier III limits apply only inside NOx Emission Control Areas (North American ECA).

SOx Requirements

The revised MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14, introduces several changes to the maximum allowable sulfur fuel oil, both inside and outside SOx and particulate matter Emission Control Areas.

EU directive EC 2005/33, introduced in January 2010, imposes a 0.1% limit on sulphur emitted by ships in EU ports.

Compliance using alternative means such as exhaust gas cleaning systems "scrubbing" is also allowed.

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