Session 1, from 3 to 7 February 2014
The International Maritime Organization (IMO)held its 1st session of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response, from 3 to 7 February 2014 in London, headquarters. During the Sub- Committee important issues on pollution prevention discussed and measures adopted as follows:
MARPOL Annex VI guidelines relating to marine diesel engines agreed
Two sets of draft guidelines, concerning the implementation of regulation 13 “Nitrogen oxides” of MARPOL Annex VI, were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), when it met for its 1st session. The regulation requires marine diesel engines installed on ships constructed before 2000 to meet the emission limits and for an Approved Method for that engine to be certified by an Administration of a Party.
The Sub-Committee agreed, for adoption by MEPC 66, draft 2014 Guidelines in respect of the information to be submitted by an Administration to the Organization covering the certification of an Approved Method as required under regulation 13.7.1 of MARPOL Annex VI (relating to “Marine Diesel Engines Installed on a Ship Constructed Prior to 1 January 2000”); and draft 2014 Guidelines on the Approved Method process.
Definition for emissions of black carbon from international shipping discussed
The Sub-Committee discussed the report of a correspondence group relating to the impact on the Arctic of emissions of black carbon from international shipping. Following discussion in a working group, the Sub-Committee noted that two possible technical definitions had been discussed, namely, equivalent Black Carbon (eBC) – which could be defined as “equivalent Black Carbon (eBC) derived from optical absorption methods, that utilizes a suitable mass-specific absorption coefficient” and Light-Absorbing Carbon (LAC) – which could be defined as “light absorbing carbonaceous compounds (LAC), resulting from the incomplete combustion of fuel oil”. The Sub-Committee also noted a number of appropriate measurement methods that could support the above-mentioned proposed definitions.
Future control measures and how they would be implemented would depend on the agreed definition and measurement methods. The whole issue was referred to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for further discussion and guidance.
Reclassification of high-viscosity PIB agreed
Following the decision in the Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards (ESPH) Working Group to recommend the reclassification of high-viscosity PIB (Polyisobutylene) the Sub-Committee agreed to a new entry in chapter 17 of the IBC Code for poly(4+)isobutylene, as a pollution category X, for carriage by ship, thereby prohibiting the discharge of cargo residues into the sea, and approved the addition of “Highly Reactive Polyisobutylene” as a synonym in chapter 19 of the IBC Code. Previously, PIB was classified as category Y material but there was no differentiation between high or low viscosity grades. Low-viscosity PIB will remain as a category Y product.
The ESPH working group, during the PPR session, also discussed issues related to the discharge of high-viscosity and persistent floating products and noted that further evaluation was needed, with respect to issues such as definitions of these substances, effectiveness of stripping operations and availability/adequacy of reception facilities.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee approved the report of the Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards (ESPH) Working Group, including the evaluation of 8 new products and 25 cleaning additives.
Development of a new offshore support vessels chemicals code
The Sub-Committee continued its work on developing a draft Code for the Transport and Handling of Limited Amounts of Hazardous and Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk in Offshore Support Vessels (OSV Chemical Code) and agreed to refer relevant sections dealing with stability, cargo transfer and fire fighting to the Sub-Committees on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) and Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) for their input.
The aim is to develop a consistent regulatory framework for the transport and handling of limited amounts of hazardous and noxious liquid substances in bulk on offshore support vessels with a single certification scheme, taking into account the complex and continued evolution of the offshore industry as well as the unique design features and service characteristics of these vessels.
Further Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention guidance developed
The Sub-Committee agreed, in principle, to the draft Guidance on stripping operations using eductors, for further consideration by MEPC 66, with a view to approval.
The Sub-Committee also noted, with appreciation, the financial support provided by Canada and Denmark for the development of manual on “Ballast Water Management – How to do it” and the offers of support from other delegations. It is intended that a first draft of the manual will be submitted to the next session (PPR 2) for consideration.
Pollution preparedness and response guidance reviewed
The Sub-Committee reviewed the work of the OPRC-HNS Technical Group, which develops guidance and discusses matters related to relate to pollution preparedness and response to oil and hazardous and noxious substances and will in future conduct its work in the framework of the PPR Sub-Committee. It agreed to establish a correspondence group to complete the draft part III of the IMO Dispersant Guidelines and develop a draft part IV of these Guidelines; and draft Guidelines on International Offers of Assistance.
Future work will include the development of a Guide on Oil Spill Response in Ice and Snow Conditions; revising section II of the Manual on Oil Pollution Contingency planning; and finalization of the IMO Dispersant Guidelines.
Draft circular on products requiring oxygen-dependent inhibitors agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC-MEPC circular on products requiring oxygen-dependent inhibitors, for submission toMEPC 66and MSC 93 for approval. The draft circular relates to proposed amendments to SOLAS and the IBC Code with respect to the application of inert gas when carrying low flashpoint cargoes and would require the Certificate of Protection to state “whether the additive is oxygen-dependent and if so, the minimum level of oxygen required in the vapour space of the tank for the inhibitor to be effective”.