Bilge Water Discharges: Ocean’s vessel MV Star is fitted with oil separation equipment capable of removing oil from bilge water. The equipment is effective and meets the MARPOL regulations of allowing oil concentration up to 15 Parts Per Million (ppm) of oil, allowing for water levels to be discharged within offshore operating areas. To ensure this equipment operates efficiently, ongoing and regular attention to maintenance plans must be introduced, reducing the chances of a reoccurrence of the spill reported earlier.
A more proactive environmental approach may be to consider replacement of the separation pumps with equipment that can reduce the ppm below the legal standards. New machines are now available that can produce 5ppm (Wallenius Lines, 2002 p. 10). A further step could be to reduce discharges to zero through effective passage planning, providing increased opportunities to discharge bilge water using wharf facilities.Sewerage: The sewerage plant on board the MV Star complies with the latest MARPOL requirements ensuring effluent does not impose a negative effect upon the environment. In the short term, the best ongoing action is to ensure all crew and trainees are reminded of the impacts if non-human waste is disposed of through the system, with a particular focus on the fact that foreign objects can render the unit unserviceable.
In the longer-term when acquiring additional or replacement vessels, consideration should be given to fitting sewage holding tanks that can be pumped ashore.Ballast Water: Although discharge of ballast water is not an immediate concern within current operations, Ocean Services needs to ensure all current concepts , such as recent AMSA trials (AMSA 2004) are communicated to all crewmembers and trainees, given they will potentially be employed in a wider range of marine employment. Chemical Use. Personal cleaning, regular maintenance, and other ongoing operations onboard MV Star, utilise chemical solutions and products.Through careful use and observance of Material Data Sheets it is possible to minimise the opportunity to indirectly release these chemicals into the sea. A more proactive approach can ensure a zero release policy, and this can be achieved by installing and correctly maintaining a wastewater treatment plant, capable of producing treated wastewater that ideally exceeds the specifications of even the strictest international regulations. (Wallenius Lines, 2002 p.
11)A simpler solution can be introduced immediately, without additional resource requirements, by adopting a policy of identifying and using ” environmentally friendly” chemicals on board. As part of this process, joining instructions for trainees should include guidance about the type of sanitary items (ie: soap, shampoo) that can be brought onboard, with an explanation of why. Garbage Disposal. Ocean Services should aim to achieve zero garbage at sea disposal. This target may initially appear challenging but this target can be quickly and easily achieved.Such a policy can not only immediately reduce the vessel’s impact upon the sea, but can also reduce costs and weight (important for ship stability) as well as reducing the fire dangers that stored refuse can present. To achieve this, the following steps are recommended: ISO 14001 is the international standard representing ‘best practice’ in environmental management.
. To date Ocean Services have maintened a level of compliance with the relevant pollution legislations and vessel survey requirements.Although the most obvious advantage of adopting an EMS is a possible competive advantage when tendering, along with a potential reduction in the chances of future breaches of pollution acts, there are even greater advantages. A well developed policy, that provides for continuous review and improvement can assist the company by providing a “focus” for activities that can assist in creating growth through new opportunities and reduced overheads.