London - The International Maritime Organization’s MEPC, Marine Environment Protection Committee, will investigate into the discharge from open-looped scrubbers, in particular the environmental impact of the washwater.
Some ships use exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers, accepted by their flag States as an alternative means to meet the sulphur limit requirement. The MEPC has considered proposals for a new agenda item, so that the Committee would consider to undertake an environmental impact assessment of discharge water from scrubbers and to evaluate and harmonize rules and guidance on the discharge of liquid effluents from scrubbers.
During the meeting, several delegations expressed some fundamental concerns whether a scrubber system could constitute a more favourable treatment of ships equipped with a scrubber system, compared to ships using compliant fuel.
The industry is faced with many new national or regional rules on the water discharges from scrubbers. These rules are increasingly restricting - or even prohibiting – ships from discharging scrubber washwater certain sea areas - such as ports, estuaries and coastal areas. Hence, as part of the work, PPR is tasked to evaluate and possibly harmonize the rules and guidance on the discharge of washwater from scrubbers.