The Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 has called upon the global maritime industry not to single out scrubber wash waters when coastal states and port authorities adopt local regulations to lessen the impact of ship operations on their ports and harbours.
Responding to reports that coastal states and ports are implementing rules that “restrict the discharge of wash waters”, the shipowners’ association says that most ports and harbours already have discharge requirements which have been in place for years.
Citing Belgium, which imposed a general ban on all water discharges from ships in 1971, and Germany, which in 2009 placed restrictions on the Rhine and its inland waterways, Ian Adams, Executive Director, CSA 2020, said: “Ports have the right to mandate their own requirements and it is commonplace for local administrations to continually assess their ship discharge requirements. But to link these decisions to sensationalist statements in the scrubber debate, without any reference to scientific data, is unfounded, unreasonable and impacts port clients while perpetuating the spread of factually incorrect information.
“To start speculating that this will have an impact on global rules or, indeed, the wider take up of open- and closed-loop scrubbers is wrong. It’s peddling fake news.”
Michael Kaczmarek, Senior Vice-President, at Carnival Corporation, a member of the Clean Shipping Alliance, said: “It is understandable the discharge of scrubber wash waters will figure in some local discharge discussions and these rules may currently differ from one place to the next. However, we strongly encourage any port considering a restriction to first investigate the existing data before creating such an impact on their shipping clients.
“While I do not know of any scientific evidence concluding that scrubber wash water discharged to sea is harmful, what I do know is that the International Maritime Organisation considered this issue in depth before confirming the acceptability of exhaust gas cleaning systems, open and closed, as means of compliance.”
In recent months, CSA 2020 representatives have visited several individual ports and other authorities to present the scientific data relating to the composition of wash waters, and this will continue into the weeks ahead. Additional studies are also in progress.