Commercial Vessel Compliance

3/23/2016: Pollution prevention and response sub-committee meeting – Seeking feedback

Written by Lt. Andrew Murphy

Last month, the Coast Guard sent several members as part of the United States delegation to attend the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) at the International Maritime Organization’s Headquarters in London.

The PPR Sub-Committee has a standing working group on the Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards of Chemicals (ESPH). The ESPH working group is a group of experts from member states that create international regulations for the safe carriage of chemicals in bulk by water. The regulations are found in the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemical in Bulk (IBC Code).

The ESPH group addressed several topics including updating the classification criteria for assigning carriage requirements for chemicals in the IBC code, developing guidance and procedures for assessing products classified under MARPOL Annex I or under MARPOL Annex II, and evaluating options to reduce the impact on the environment of tank washings containing high-viscosity and persistent floating products, among others.

Several of these issues will have an impact on the chemical transportation industry and the Coast Guard is seeking feedback from industry representatives.

Prior to each PPR sub-committee meeting, the Coast Guard holds a public meeting to advise the public on U.S. positions for the various projects, issues and papers that will be discussed.   Interested members of the public and industry are encouraged to attend these public meetings either in person or by call. Follow the Federal Register or subscribe to Maritime Commons for notification and information on how to attend or participate.

The ESPH working group will meet again this October at IMO Headquarters in London. The next PPR sub-committee meeting is scheduled for January 2017.

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