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Toxic Watch attacks Indian Gov due to illegal vessel traffic

Toxic Watch Alliance, an environmental NGO, has pointed out the indifference of the Narendra Modi-led government in looking the other way as end-of-life ships from other countries, many of them carrying banned toxic and other hazardous substances, continue to be dismantled in the ship-breaking yards of Alang in Gujarat, India. Consequently, Dereo O'Brien, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, sent a letter to Trinamool Congress MP in Rajya Sabha.

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Four UK companies under investigation for shipping toxic waste

Suspect hazardous substances were found in the containers Amid the stacks of shipping containers towering over Britain's busiest port, an unusual suspected-crime scene unfolded this week.Investigators wearing gas masks gingerly opened a row of 20m-long steel boxes and - after testing for noxious fumes - began inspecting the rusty entrails of 1,800 tonnes of scrap metal to see if it was sent illegally to pollute the environment 7,000 miles away.Nearly 90 containers, each weighing more than 30 tonnes, have arrived back in the bustling Suffolk dockyard of Felixstowe in the past fortnight. Their journey began last November when they left scrapyards in southern England for Indonesia labelled as "recyclable" material with a value of $500,000 (318,000).The shipments were part of a lucrative trade - about 10 million tonnes of waste metal flow out of Europe each year. But when the Indonesian authorities inspected the contents of the British containers, they did not like what they found. The cargo was declared hazardous, resealed and British authorities were ordered to arrange for its immediate return.Four UK companies are now being investigated by the Environment Agency (EA) to see if they sent contaminated and potentially toxic waste to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in ...

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NGO releases list of EU toxic ships sent to South Asia in 2011

Forceful and sustained action at the European level is especially urgent The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a coalition of human rights, labour rights and environmental organisations working on the shipbreaking issue, has released its third yearly list of European companies that have sent end-of-life ships to the infamous scrap beaches of South Asia. The European Waste Shipment Regulation - which incorporates international law such as the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes - prohibits European Union Member States from exporting hazardous wastes, including those present in the structure of ships to developing countries.Still, the vast majority of European shipping companies continue to avoid the costs of proper disposal by selling their ships to South Asian breaking yards known for the lack of enforcement of environmental and labour laws, exposing some of the poorest communities to extremely dangerous working conditions and severe pollution.The top 10 European "global dumpers" in 2011 are:Greece (100 ships)Norway (24 ships)UK (13 ships)The Netherlands (12 ships)Germany (11 ships)Italy (9 ships)Cyprus,Switzerland (5 ships each)Bulgaria,Denmark,Romania (4 ships each)Latvia,Lithuania,Poland,Spain,Sweden (3 ships each)Belgium,Finland,Ireland,Slovenia (1 ship each)FOC-problemsOnce more, the listing of European dumpers also highlights the problem of "flags of convenience" (FOC). Unscrupulous ship-owners - says NGO ...

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Undeclared hazardous waste on Rena

There are 21 containers containing 490 tonnes of the toxic substance Cryolite The discovery that undeclared hazardous goods on the grounded cargo ship Rena may be leaching toxins into the sea highlights the importance of looking after our natural environment, said the Green Party today."It is deeply concerning to learn that another substance is threatening the marine environment of the Bay of Plenty. First it was oil, now it is a toxic by-product of the aluminium smelting process," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.Maritime New Zealand today announced the discovery on board the Rena of 21 containers containing 490 tonnes of the toxic substance Cryolite, a by-product from the aluminium smelting process. Seventeen containers are understood to be submerged, which means the substance could be leaching toxins into the sea."It's not good enough that the hazardous substances were not declared. We urgently need to get to the bottom of who was responsible for withholding the information," said Mrs Turei."We also need to do everything we can to make coastal shipping safer. Ships regularly carry hazardous goods in New Zealand waters, and we need to make sure accidents like this don't happen again."The Green Party has been campaigning for stronger environmental ...

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