Background

 

Systems to manage shipboard machinery space waste streams, rather than discharge these wastes directly overboard, were first installed on ships in the 1970's, as a result of MARPOL Annex I regulations.
 
Managing these oily waste streams represented a fundamental change in the historically established function of a shipboard crew.  Before environmental regulations, a ship's crew existed to keep a vessel moving to allow it to make money carrying freight.  Since the 1970's, this crew function has changed to include environmental management of a ship's emissions.  As such, a ship's crew used to serve one master (the vessel Owner) but now serves two (the vessel Owner and the public at large).
 
This shift has resulted in confusion and an adversarial tug of war between ship owners and the public with ship crews left in the middle.  This tug of war needs to be resolved for environmental systems to function properly aboard ships.
 
Environmental functions aboard ships continue to expand.  Meanwhile, evidence based on a continual stream of noted violations indicates that some operators continue to have problems with machinery space waste stream management.  This study focused on identifying methods to make shipboard machinery space waste stream management more effective and reliable aboard ships. The knowledge derived from this effort was also geared towards helping with the implementation of other shipboard environmental functions.
 
Today's ship crews (and ship operators) are also facing a steadily increasing number of necessary regulations and procedures.  This paperwork has resulted in resentment and loss of focus by all stakeholders.  Remarkably, recent efforts have strongly indicated that there are solutions that actually reduce paperwork, workloads and operational costs.  These trends need to be further analyzed and studied.
 
Problems with shipboard waste stream management continue to occur, and resolution of these problems will require a combination of improvements in technology, operational practices, training and human factors considerations.  This study endeavored to bring together all stakeholders in order to develop best practices on all of these fronts.

 

Martin, Ottaway,
van Hemmen & Dolan, Inc.

172 Monmouth Street, Suite 201
Red Bank, NJ 07701
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