The main challenge for INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee going forward is the continued proliferation of local, national and regional legislation. The Committee is focused on priorities in terms of significant environmental challenges for the tanker industry.
See below to view the variety of issue headings within the Environment topic area.
The United States remains one of the critical areas for new environmental regulations. And while air emissions remain a challenge for the technical teams, other matters such as seasonally changing whale avoidance present a navigational challenge.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP) continues to present challenges for the members, in particular with states seeking tighter controls through the VGP.
One example being considered by the Environmental Committee is the no-discharge-of-grey-water requirements. This requirement has been replicated in many other locations around the world and is seen as a high priority item in terms of the installation of additional tank storage for new and existing vessels.
Biofouling and hull cleaning restrictions are also becoming more prevalent on a local level, but the Committee looks to the new IMO Guidelines, due for adoption in 2011, as a means to bring uniformity to the enforcement of hull management operations.
Regional requirements needn’t be seen negatively, however. The Environmental Committee has spent some time considering how the EU Reception Facilities Directive can be amended and improved.
This comes at a time when the Commission has agreed to re-open consideration of this Directive and will, in 2011, request the industry’s comments and proposals. The Committee will then be set to deliver a well considered set of proposals for improving the regulations in European ports.
In 2010 the Environmental Committee also reviewed its increasingly challenging agenda and established clear objectives on its issues.
Howard Seto delivered the Committee’s objectives to INTERTANKO’s Council for its review and support during the Singapore Council meeting. These are provided below:
Environmental Committee Objectives:
- Provide guidance and best practice to further enhance the environmental performance of the tanker industry.
- Promote the environmental performance of the tanker industry.
- Engage in the development of environmental legislation.
Marine Pollution Prevention
Provide guidance and best practice on oil and chemical pollution prevention measures.
- Encourage the sharing of information on ballast water treatment systems and the results of any on-board installations.
- Encourage the establishment of uniform industry best practice based on the principles of the IMO Convention.
Port Reception Facilities
Urge stakeholders to comply with the provision of adequate reception facilities at all oil and chemical ports and terminals.
Develop and contribute to uniform international practices for the management of garbage.
Promote the use of ship recycling facilities which have proven health, safety and environmental protection standards, as per those specified in the Hong Kong Convention.
Contribute to the development of practical and uniform international guidelines and best practices on the management of ships’ biofouling.
Liaise and co-operate with international environmental organisations in order to work towards common objectives.
Contribute towards the development and use of common environmental performance indicators.
Promote the sharing of information on operational and technical options for reducing GHGs from tankers.
The Environmental Committee will continue its collaboration with the INTERTANKO Safety, Technical and Environmental Committee (ISTEC) as more and more of the environmental challenges demand technical solutions on board.
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