USCG OILY WATER SEPARATION SYSTEMS TASK FORCE

The US Coast Guard and other law enforcement personnel are scrutinizing oily water separation systems more carefully than before. For a variety of reasons - inadequate maintenance, inadequate training, improper operation, and intentional misuse - this equipment does not always operate properly.The US Coast Guard has now established the Oily Water Separation Systems Task Force (OWSSTF).

In Weekly NEWS No. 44, of 5 November 2001 we advised that on 29 October 2001 the US Coast Guard (USCG) had issued a Notice with a request for comments on Oily Water Separation Systems.These comments were required to assist their own Task Force in examining the reliability and capability of oily water separators in actual operating environments, as well as to allow the USCG to better understand the evaluation of these devices for the development of any additional recommendations for compliance with MARPOL and the Clean Water Act.

We have now been advised that the US Coast Guard has established the Oily Water Separation Systems Task Force (OWSSTF). For a variety of reasons, these systems do not always operate properly. Causes include inadequate maintenance, inadequate training, improper operation, and intentional misuse. US Coast Guard personnel and other law enforcement personnel are scrutinizing oily water separation systems more carefully than before. Among the problems that can cause these systems to fail to perform effectively are high levels of oil in the water to be filtered and use of inappropriate cleansing agents. In this regard, mariners are invited to review MEPC Circular 289 entitled 'Information on Cleansing Agents for use in Machinery Spaces of Ships'.

The notes circulated by the USCG can be viewed on INTERTANKO’s web site at: http://www.intertanko.com/pdf/weeklynews/USCGOilyWater.pdf  and the MEPC Circ. 289 can be viewed at: http://www.intertanko.com/pdf/weeklynews/MEPC289.pdf  

Contact: Capt. Howard Snaith on e-mail howard.snaith@intertanko.com