Saturday, October 20, 2012

Register Issues Guidance to Vessel Owners on Ballast Water Treatments

New Series Aimed at Assisting Ship Operators with New Environmental Legislation
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Almost two years ago to the day we wrote a fairly scathing article with regard to the inordinate amount of time it was taking to properly address the scandal of untreated ballast water, how Lloyd’s Register was attempting to prepare ship owners and operators for potential legislation, and made reference to the devastating, and irreversible effects untreated water could have, and indeed had already inflicted on, localised environmental systems.

We make no apologies for returning to the subject now that the situation has at last been recognised to be as serious as so many already knew and once again the Register is reminding those responsible of what is available and the steps they should take by issuing a new Understanding Ballast Water Management Series, with the intention of helping operators make informed decisions that meet compliance with forthcoming requirements of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention by introducing them to a range of tools and technical guidance.

Lloyd’s says with legislation pending for the commercial fleet, this latest series will help operators to review the technologies and understand the risks and processes associated with integrating ballast water systems with the operating systems on their ships. Katharine Palmer, Environment Manager, Lloyd’s Register, comments:

“Ballast water management is one of the big challenges that shipping faces. It’s now about understanding the risks associated with the technologies and choosing the right treatment. The resources we are providing help to narrow down the suitable options for individual operators. Our Ballast Water Treatment Technologies Guide provides all the technical parameters of available technologies so that operators understand issues such as space and power requirements.”

The series includes how to comply with the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, a guide to treatment technologies, an online comparison tool to assist with the selection of treatment systems and full regulatory guidance, model plans and approval requirements.

Anyone who doubts the potential damage to ecosystems can look at a few examples of what has already occurred with this link to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) website.

Photo: Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) which cost the US economy alone an estimated $1 billion in the decade up to the year 2000. Pictured in the Maryland Coastal Bays. Courtesy of the Integration and Application Network, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary/) Author Adrian Jones.