Antifouling Paints Effects
 
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Antifouling Paints Effects

      6/28/1999

In preparation for a meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee in London, the US team held a public meeting to discuss the US positions on several important environmental issues under consideration. The upcoming session is generating controversy because of issues such as harmful effects on the use of anti-fouling paints for ships. The most debated issue involved a draft resolution, approved at the last MEPC meeting, to ban antifouling ship paints containing the biocide tributyltin or TBT. Bryan Wood-Thomas of the EPA noted the antifouling paints discussions will center around (1) devising a legal, globally binding instrument (2) addressing alternatives to TBT based anti-fouling paint and (3) the effective implementation dates for a TBT ban. Members of the US shipping industry were vocally distressed over concerns that alternative anti-fouling paints do not meet US emission standards (VOC limits) set by the Clean Air Act. Similar concerns and frustrations were also voiced by a number of paint and chemical manufacturers. Stakeholders are worried US shipyards may not have any approved ship hull paint available in time for the 1/1/2003 deadline on TBT application. Representatives from chemical and paint manufacturers also defended their antifoulant products. They pointed to their own tests showing a number of alternative products with similar effectiveness and duration to TBT based antifouling paints. They urged expedience in approving alternative antifoulants. Ship owners' representatives voiced differing opinions. Some members had major problems, others did not, but they recognize application costs will be double. Owners are requesting a relaxation of the proposed dates for a TBT ban until effective alternatives can be identified. Additional topics the US delegation is preparing for include:
(a) Ballast water working group and continued progress on IMO guidelines,
(b) Inadequacy of reception facilities for ship waste,
(c) Prevention of air pollution from ships, as well as 16 other agenda items. The MEPC meeting is held at IMO's headquarters in London from June 26th to July 2nd.
More information: CQD - Journal for the Maritime Environment Industry


 


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