MARPOL Also Requires Shore Cooperation

I really enjoy Dennis Bryant’s┬áDaily Newsletter, his format allows me to scan it very quickly and if a mental alarm goes off, he provides some additional info.

The December 20, 2013 newsletter issue made mention of MARPOL reception facilities inadequacies.

The write up referred to a USCG Houston Marine Safety Information Bulletin issued by COTP Brian Ponoyer.

This bulletin notes that the USCG has become aware of terminals that are making it too expensive or too difficult to accept ship oily waste, and points out that terminals that do not provide reasonable arrangements for discharge of waste to shore under MARPOL could be subject to fines and even imprisonment.

Fortunately many terminals are quite good at accepting oily waste, but if there is no universal expectation that a vessel can discharge waste to shore wherever it ties up, the decision making process aboard the vessel with regard to oily waste becomes confusing and could result in poor decisions aboard the vessel. With regard to decision making aboard the vessel, note that the terminal should be provided with 24 hours notice if the vessel wants to discharge oily waste to shore.

Remember, the USCG refers to a MARPOL requirement and therefore this requirement is in effect for all US ports and all MARPOL signatories across the world.

The bottom line is that clean oceans require cooperation and everybody, the ships, the crews, the consultants, the USCG, the cargo owners and the terminals, have to do their job. Thank you USCG for providing some clarification where there may have been confusion.