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3 Measures to Prevent and Reduce Marine Debris and Its Impacts A variety of laws, regulations, and nonregulatory measures can be applied to prevent or limit impacts of the disposal of garbage into the oceans. There are, however, no comprehensive programs designed to assess the amount and impacts of debris that is already in or will make its way into the oceans, or to remediate and remove that debris. This chapter reviews and identifies gaps in the existing internaÂ tional legal and regulatory framework, including port reception faciliÂ ties. It then discusses and identifies gaps in U.S. domestic laws that are most relevant to prevention and reduction of marine debris from land as well as ocean-based sources. The chapter also addresses U.S. impleÂ mentation of these regulations related to leadership and coordination, integrated solid waste management, waste minimization and source reduction, enforcement and compliance activities, and mitigation and removal programs. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK There are two primary international conventions that address garbage pollution in the oceans: the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 Annex V and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972, and the 1996 Protocol to the Convention. The overarching framework for these international conventions is set in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 49
50 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea The basic principles of international ocean law are set forth in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This comprehensive treaty, which entered into force in 1994, describes the rights and responÂ sibilities of nations to conduct and control activities in and affecting the oceans. Although the United States has not ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Executive Branch has submitted it to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent with a recommendation that it be ratiÂ fied and that the United States considers most of its provisions to reflect binding customary international law (Van Dyke, 2008). The Convention sets out a number of duties that are relevant to the global marine debris problem (Box 3.1). These duties oblige nations to use their authority and BOX 3.1 Marine Debris Pollution and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that require nations to combat marine debris include the following: Article 1: For the purposes of this Convention: â¦(4) âpollution of the marine enviÂ ronmentâ means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment, including estuaries, which results or is likely to result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities. Article 192: States have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment. Article 194: (1) States shall take . . . all measures necessary to prevent, reduce, and control pollution of the marine environment from any source. . . . (5) The measures taken in accordance with this part shall include those necessary to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems as well as the habitats of depleted, threatened or endangered species and other forms of marine life. Article 197: States shall cooperate on a global basis, and as appropriate, on a regional basis, directly or through competent international organizations, in formuÂ lating and elaborating international rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures . . . for the protection and preservation of the marine environment, taking into account characteristic regional features. Article 207: (1) States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources, including continued
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 51 BOX 3.1 Continued rivers, estuaries, pipelines and outfall structures, taking into account internationally agreed rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures. . . . (5) Laws, regulations, measures, rules, standards and recommended practices and proceÂ dures . . . shall include those designed to minimize, to the fullest extent possible, the release of toxic, harmful or noxious substances, especially those which are persistent, into the marine environment. Article 210: (1) States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment by dumping. (2) States shall take other measures as necessary to prevent, reduce and control such pollution . . . (4) States acting especially through competent international organizations or diploÂ matic conference, shall endeavor to establish global and regional rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures to prevent, reduce and control such pollution . . . (6) National laws, regulations and measures shall be no less effecÂ tive in preventing, reducing and controlling such pollution than global rules and standards. Article 211: (1) States, acting through the competent international organization or general diplomatic conference, shall establish international rules and standards to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from vessels . . . Such rules and standards shall . . . be re-examined from time to time as necessary. (2) States shall adopt laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and conÂ trol of pollution of the marine environment from vessels flying their flag or of their registry . . . (3) States which establish particular requirements . . . as a condition for entry of foreign vessels into their ports or internal waters . . . shall . . . communicate them to the competent international organization. Article 216: (1) Laws and regulations adopted in accordance with this Convention and applicable international rules and standards established through competent international organizations or diplomatic conference for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the marine environment by dumping shall be enforced: (a) by the coastal State with regard to dumping within its territorial sea or its excluÂ sive economic zone or onto its continental shelf; (b) by the flag State with regard to vessels flying its flag or vessels or aircraft of its registry; (c) by any state with regard to acts of loading of wastes or other matter occurring within its territory or at its off-shore terminals. Article 217: States shall ensure compliance by vessels flying their flag or of their registry with applicable international rules and standards . . . Article 218: (1) When a vessel is voluntarily in a port . . . of a state, that state may undertake investigations and, where the evidence so warrants, institute proceedÂ ings in respect of any discharge from that vessel outside the internal waters, territorial sea or exclusive economic zone of that state in violation of applicable international rules and standards established through the competent international organization or general diplomatic conference. SOURCE: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (emphasis added).
52 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY jurisdiction to prevent degradation of the marine environment, including prevention of land- and ocean-based discharges of marine debris. The Convention encourages nations to act through international bodies, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), but makes it clear that nations have a continuing legal duty to exercise the full extent of their authorities over activities on land and at sea to supplement internationÂ ally agreed measures. The Convention on the Law of the Sea refers to national regulations to prevent marine pollution, as well as standards that are adopted through âcompetent international organizationsâ (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, Article 61) for pollution from vessels. With regard to shipping and marine debris, IMO is the responsible body. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 IMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, was created in 1948 to establish consistent international regulation of the maritime industry. Membership in IMO includes 167 nations; several nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations also participate in a consultative status (International Maritime Organization, 2008a). Through its specialized committees and subcommittees, the IMO Assembly has created a comÂ prehensive body of international conventions and supporting annexes to govern international maritime commerce. Although IMO initially focused on developing regulations to promote safety, vessel accidents that resulted in significant pollution events led to IMO initiatives to include prevention and management of pollution assoÂ ciated with accidents and normal operations. The most significant of these initiatives is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL). In its current form, MARPOL contains six operational annexes. These annexes address prevention of pollution by oil (Annex I), control of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk (Annex II), prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form (Annex III), prevenÂ tion of pollution by sewage from ships (Annex IV), prevention of polluÂ tion by garbage from ships (Annex V), and prevention of air pollution from ships (Annex VI). Parties wishing to ratify MARPOL must ratify Annexes I and II. Ratification of the other annexes, including Annex V, is optional. When a nation agrees to become a âpartyâ to an agreement, such as MARPOL Annex V, it is required to adopt domestic legislation to ensure implementation of the treaty requirements. In the United States, ratification requires the advice and consent of the Senate, enactment of enabling legislation, and appropriation of requisite funding. The United
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 53 States ratified MARPOL Annex V in 1987. Currently, 134 nations repreÂ senting nearly 97 percent of the worldâs tonnage are parties to MARPOL Annex V, which entered into force on December 31, 1988 (International Maritime Organization, 2008b). MARPOL Annex V: Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships MARPOL Annex V seeks to eliminate or reduce the disposal of garÂ bage from ships by specifying the conditions under which different types of garbage may be discharged. MARPOL Annex V prohibits the at-sea disposal of plastics of any kind and tightly restricts other discharges in coastal waters and designated âspecial areas.â MARPOL Annex V has been amended twice since it entered into force on December 31, 1988. In 1994, an amendment on port state control provisions was added, which establishes the framework for parties to ensure and promote compliance with the provisions of MARPOL Annex V through national inspection and enforcement programs applicable to vesÂ sels and shoreside facilities. In the United States, these programs apply to U.S. flag vessels located anywhere in the world, to foreign flag vessels in the territorial waters of the United States and calling in U.S. ports, and to shoreside facilities that are required to provide adequate reception facilities to vessels berthed at those facilities. In 1995, an amendment was added requiring garbage management plans and record books for all ships 400 gross tons and above and those certified to carry 15 persons or more, and placarding for all ships 12.192 meters (40 feet) or more in length. The garbage management plans and record books are discussed in further detail below. Under MARPOL Annex V, garbage is defined as âall kinds of victual, domestic, and operational waste excluding fresh fish and parts thereof, generated during the normal operation of the ship and liable to be disÂ posed of continuously or periodically except those substances which are defined or listed in other Annexes to the present Conventionâ (InternaÂ tional Maritime Organization, 2006d). Under the exception, it is clear that if components of the materials to be discharged are covered by more specific and stringent provisions of other MARPOL annexes, the more stringent provisions prevail. A more complicated question that is curÂ rently under review by parties to MARPOL (the review is being conÂ ducted by IMOâs Marine Environment Protection Committee; see section below for further discussion) is how to treat garbage that contains marine pollutants or harmful and hazardous substances not specifically covered by other MARPOL Annexes (International Maritime Organization, 2007). MARPOL requirements apply to all covered ships at all times, with the exception from certain requirements for vessel emergencies that require
54 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY a discharge to secure the safety of the ship and human life or that result from actions taken to secure the safety of the ship and human life. The accidental loss of synthetic fishing nets is also exempt under MARPOL Annex V, provided that reasonable precautions have been taken to preÂ vent the loss (see detailed discussion in Chapter 4). Table 3.1 outlines the garbage management framework established by MARPOL Annex V. In general, MARPOL Annex V establishes a âdistance from landâ framework for permissible dumping of garbage with more strict proÂ hibitions in special areas. These distances (3, 12, and 25 nautical miles) are based primarily on historical definitions of state, territorial seas, and TABLE 3.1â Summary of Garbage Discharge Restrictions for Vessels (modified from International Maritime Organization, 2006b) All Ships, Except Platforms Outside Inside Offshore Garbage Type Special Areas Special Areas Platformsa Plasticsâincludes synthetic ropes Disposal Disposal Disposal and fishing nets and plastic prohibited prohibited prohibited garbage bags Floating dunnage, lining, and >25 nautical Disposal Disposal packing materials miles prohibited prohibited offshore Cargo residues, paper, rags, glass, >12 nautical Disposal Disposal metal, bottles, ash and clinkers, miles prohibited prohibited crockery, and similar refuse offshore All other garbage, including >3 nautical Disposal Disposal paper, rags, and glass, miles prohibited prohibited comminuted or groundb offshore Food waste not comminuted or >12 nautical >12 nautical Disposal ground miles miles prohibited offshore offshore Food waste comminuted or >3 nautical >12 nautical >12 nautical groundb miles miles miles offshore offshorec offshore aOffshore platforms and associated ships include all fixed or floating platforms engaged in exploration or exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources and all ships within 500 m of such platforms. bComminuted or ground garbage must be able to pass through a screen with mesh size no larger than 25 mm. cFor the Wider Caribbean Region, disposal is allowed at greater than 3 nautical miles o Â ffshore.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 55 international waters rather than ecosystem considerations. However, the more stringent restrictions within designated special areas reflect broader environmental concerns. A key to the implementation of MARPOL Annex V is the requirement that parties provide adequate garbage reception facilities for ships calling at their ports and terminals. Despite the perÂ missibility of at-sea discharges in compliance with MARPOL Annex V, it is environmentally prudent for vessels to discharge their garbage ashore where it can be handled by more sophisticated (in developed nations) solid waste management systems, which often include recycling and waste treatment programs. MARPOL Annex V ships are required to maintain a garbage manageÂ ment plan, which sets out written procedures for the collection, storage, processing, and disposal of all types of garbage generated on the vessel, including operating guidelines for solid waste management equipment installed aboard the vessel. The garbage management plan and record book provide a written record of all garbage discharges and incineration at sea, including the date, time, position of the vessel, and description of the type of garbage discharged or incinerated. In addition, the garbage record book must include records of accidental and willful discharges of garbage that are not compliant with the provisions of MARPOL Annex V, along with a description of the circumstances and reasons for the disÂ charge (e.g., emergency situations). An appendix to MARPOL Annex V contains a guideline and template for the garbage record book and details on the nature of entries to be recorded. As is the case with many other international conventions, IMO has agreed to a nonmandatory set of guidelines which may be used by nations in developing legislation for the implementation of MARPOL Annex V. Guidelines for the Implementation of Annex V of MARPOL (International Maritime Organization, 2006b) adds details to the provisions of MARPOL Annex V. This document also includes three appendices that address reporting of alleged inadequacies of port reception facilities, specifications for shipboard incinerators, and guidance for the development of garbage management plans. For example, the International Maritime Organization (2006b) details solid waste management options, such as waste minimiÂ zation and onboard garbage processing, to assist in MARPOL Annex V compliance. Figure 3.1 shows the possible options for shipboard handling and disposal of garbage, from collection through disposal. As previously noted, MARPOL provides for designation of special areas that provide a higher level of protection than other areas; as indiÂ cated in Table 3.1, the only authorized discharge of garbage into a special area is food waste, except under emergency circumstances. Eight special areas have been designated by MARPOL Annex V: the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the North Sea, the Wider
PHASE OF Ship-generated 56 WASTE garbage MANAGEMENT Ocean- Collection and Non-ocean- disposable separation disposable garbage garbage COLLECTION No Grinder or No Grinder or processing comminuter processing comminuter Compactor Compactor PROCESSING Incinerator Discharge incinerator (Option) Incinerator ashes at sea (except ashes from plastic products, which may contain toxic or heavy metal residues) Authorized Short- discharge Discharge term (Option) Trip-long storage (No) area? garbage storage STORAGE (Yes) Port reception Port Port reception sterilization or reception recycling DISPOSAL Ocean disposal incineration landfill program FIGURE 3.1â Options for shipboard handling and disposal of garbage (modified from International Maritime Organization, 2006b).
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 57 Caribbean Region, the Antarctic, and the (Arabian) Gulfs area. However, only three of these special areas (the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Antarctic region) have been in effect for several years. The Gulfs special area went into effect in August 2008, and the Mediterranean special area will go into effect in May 2009, leaving the Black Sea, the Red Sea, and the Wider Caribbean Region without the protections from marine debris deemed necessary by their initial special area designation. The single most significant obstacle to implementation of marine debris protection programs in these areas is the lack of certification of adequate reception facilities. There are no specific incentives or technical assistance to provide adequate shoreside waste disposal facilities, and, without having facilities in place, ships are not required to provide the added level of protection to these special areas. IMO could do more to assist parties bordering on special areas to meet their obligations. However, the general failure of the special area provisions to actually provide extra protection to these sensiÂ tive areas indicates that a new approach is needed. Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972, and the 1996 Protocol to the Convention The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (commonly referred to as the London ConvenÂ tion) was agreed to in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. The ÂConvention focuses on preventing the dumping of wastes and other materials into the sea. The Protocol to the London Convention (commonly referred to as the London Protocol), agreed to in 1996 and entered into force on March 24, 2006, updates the Convention. It is anticipated that the Protocol will supÂ plant the Convention in its entirety; the United States is currently in the process of ratifying the Protocol. Therefore, this summary will focus on the provisions and requirements established by the Protocol. Under the Protocol, dumping is defined as the following: 1. any deliberate disposal into the sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea; 2. any deliberate disposal into the sea of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at sea; 3. any storage of wastes or other matter in the seabed and the subsoil thereof from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made strucÂ tures at sea; and 4. any abandonment or toppling at site of platforms or other man- made structures at sea, for the sole purpose of deliberate disposal (1996 Protocol to the Convention, Article 1).
58 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Perhaps equally important is that dumping does not include the disposal into the sea of wastes or other matter incidental to, or derived from the normal operations of vessels, aircraft, platforms, or other man-made structures at sea and their equipmentï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ , other than ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ wastes or other ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ matter transported . . . for the purpose of disposal of such matter or derived from the treatment of such wastes . . . (1996 Protocol to the Convention, Article 1). Put simply, discharges from vessels, aircraft, platforms, or other man- made structures at sea are not considered dumping if they are wastes generated during ânormal operationsâ; however, they are considered by the Convention and the Protocol if the discharged materials were transported for the express purpose of disposal at sea. Other provisions of the Protocol prohibit the at-sea incineration of wastes covered under the Protocol and also prohibit the export of wastes to other countries for subsequent dumping or incineration at sea. A key difference between the Convention and the amended ProtoÂ col is that where the Convention allowed dumping unless specifically prohibited (a so-called âblack listâ approach), under the Protocol, at-sea dumping is prohibited unless the material has been specifically included on an approved list (a âreverse listâ or âwhite listâ approach). The ProtoÂ col also incorporates a precautionary approach to protecting the marine environment from dumping activities by requiring preventative action to be âtaken when there is reason to believe that wastes or other matter introduced into the marine environment are likely to cause harm even when there is no conclusive evidence to prove a causal relation between inputs and their effectsâ (1996 Protocol to the Convention, Article 3). Annex I of the Protocol lists wastes that may be dumped pursuant to a permit. This white list includes dredged material; sewage sludge; fish waste; vessels and platforms or other man-made structures; inert, i Â norganic geological material; organic material of natural origin; and bulky items primarily comprising iron, steel, concrete, and other miniÂ mally harmful materials. Annex II of the Protocol establishes procedures for assessment of wastes that are being considered for dumping and includes provisions related to solid waste prevention, solid waste manÂ agement, dump-site selection, assessment of potential impacts of solid waste management options, compliance and monitoring programs, and criteria for issuing permits and establishing appropriate permit conditions specific to a particular material. Parties to the Protocol must issue permits (when deemed acceptable) for materials that are loaded in their territory, regardless of country of registry, and to vessels or aircraft registered in their territory if such loading of covered materials occurs in the territory of a nation not a party to the Protocol.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 59 In 2006, generic and waste-specific guidelines for assessment of wastes which may be dumped under permitted conditions were updated and published by IMO as Guidelines on the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (International Maritime Organization, 2006d). These guidelines provide specific criteria and evaluation processes for the assessment of the wastes that are listed in Annex I to the Protocol as permissible for dumping. GAPS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (2004) notes that The dominant paradigm for governing the oceans [had been] the prinÂ ciple of freedom of the seas, based on the premise that the oceans were infinite and marine resources inexhaustible. . . . This view of the oceans began to change dramatically in the middle of the 20th century, when it became apparent that problems of overfishing and pollution threatened ocean assets that had previously been taken for granted. This statement reflects the growing awareness of fragility of the ocean ecosystems, as well as a cultural and policy shift away from the operaÂ tional and vessel focus of the early days of IMO toward a more ecosystem- based view that emphasizes the minimization, and ideally elimination, of discharges of garbage and other debris into the marine environment. This shift is demonstrated most clearly with the move from a black list approach to regulating ocean dumping in the London Convention under which material could be dumped unless prohibited to a more precauÂ tionary white list approach in the London Protocol, which presumes that material should not be dumped at sea. Although the voluntary guidelines for implementing MARPOL Annex V (International Maritime OrganizaÂ tion, 2006b) do include waste minimization and source reduction as sigÂ nificant objectives, the current mandatory framework is constructed on the premise that discharges are permissible as long as they are consistent with applicable conditions and are not expressly prohibited. Nearly 20 years after MARPOL Annex V was originally adopted, and with advances in ship operating procedures, available technologies, and solid waste management practices, it would be reasonable to consider many of the positive discharge mitigation philosophies embodied in the Guidelines (International Maritime Organization, 2006b) for inclusion into the mandatory legal requirements of MARPOL Annex V. Concepts of waste minimization, source reduction, and zero discharge are being sucÂ cessfully employed in many industries, including some segments of the maritime industry (see âWaste Minimization and Source Reductionâ).
60 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY However, adoption and implementation of these approaches by the mariÂ time sector has not been a priority under the current MARPOL frameÂ work. While the Guidelines (International Maritime Organization, 2006b) provides a good start, a paradigm shift will require a more significant commitment to technology development and development of best pracÂ tices for shipboard solid waste management, and incorporation of sucÂ cessful practices into MARPOL Annex V regulatory standards. Shipboard garbage management will depend on fleet characteristics such as vessel size, passenger and crew numbers, routes and ports of call, and average voyage length. The National Research Council (NRC) (1995a) identified obstacles to and strategies for compliance with MARPOL Annex V for nine different fleets; the obstacles remain, and the suggested strategies are still appropriate. Marine Environment Protection Committee Correspondence Group The United Nations General Assembly asked IMO âto review M Â ARPOL Annex V, in consultation with relevant organizations and b Â odies, and to assess its effectiveness in addressing sea-based sources of marine debrisâ (International Maritime Organization, 2006a). In response, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), a subÂcommittee of the IMO, established an intersessional correspondence group. The corÂ respondence group was asked âto develop the framework, method of work, and timetable for a comprehensive review of MARPOL Annex V Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships and the associated Revised Guidelines for the Implementation of MARPOL Annex Vâ (International Maritime Organization, 2006a). Specifically, the corresponÂ dence group was tasked with the following: â¢ examination of Annex V and its Guidelines; â¢ consideration of the issues submitted; â¢ an assessment of trends in sea-based sources of marine debris; â¢ consideration of relevant work of other bodies; and â¢ development of necessary amendments to Annex V and its Guide- lines (International Maritime Organization, 2007). In an interim report (International Maritime Organization, 2007), the correspondence group indicated that progress has been made on the first four tasks and that it anticipated completion of the last task in July 2008. Issues of relevance to this report, which are being addressed by the corÂ respondence group but for which no final recommendations have been made, include
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 61 â¢ creation of a general prohibition on the discharge of garbage; â¢ integration of waste minimization principles into MARPOL Annex V and the Guidelines; â¢ additional placarding and recordkeeping requirements; â¢ adequacy of reception facilities; â¢ management of cargo residues in general and in special areas; â¢ management of bulk liquid wastes not subject to other MARPOL annexes; â¢ management of oils used in the shipâs galley; â¢ garbage that may contain harmful residues that are not currently defined as pollutants; â¢ discharge of floating dunnage and packaging materials; â¢ discharge of composite materials; and â¢ mitigation of the loss of fishing gear and the promotion of responÂ sible fishing practices. The correspondence group has addressed each of these issues through the identification of options that need to be considered prior to finalizaÂ tion of their report, which is expected to include recommendations for future action including amendments to MARPOL Annex V and which will be considered by MEPC in October 2008. Finding: Under MARPOL Annex V, as currently written, discharges are permitted unless specifically prohibited. This approach does not provide sufficient incentive to encourage innovation and adoption of source reduction and waste minimization measures to prevent garÂ bage pollution in the marine environment. Recommendation: The U.S. delegation to IMO should, through the ongoing review process, advocate that IMO amend MARPOL Annex V to include a general prohibition on discharge of garbage at sea with limited exceptions based on specific vessel operating sceÂ narios and adequacy of shoreside reception facilities. In addition, the U.S. delegation should request that IMO review the Guidelines for the Implementation of Annex V of MARPOL (International Maritime OrgaÂ nization, 2006b) and, where transferrable, amend MARPOL Annex V to include waste minimization and source reduction concepts from the Guidelines into mandatory requirements for vessels, such as within garbage management plan requirements. The United States and other parties to MARPOL Annex V should incorporate similar requirements into their domestic regulations for vessels engaged in both internaÂ tional and domestic trade.
62 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Port Reception Facilities The lack of understanding of the marine waste and vessel stream and the inadequacy of shoreside reception to accept and properly manÂ age vessel waste is a serious impediment to prevention and reduction of marine debris, including derelict fishing gear (DFG). Moreover, the lack of uniform disposal fees, particularly for contaminated wastes, provides a financial incentive for vessel operators to discard at sea when such discards are permitted under MARPOL Annex V or when the probability of detection is deemed low. Providing incentives for landside disposal of ship-generated waste is a practical method for curbing waste discharge at sea. Some examples of port reception financing systems that may promote landside disposal include the following: â¢ âfree of chargeâ systems, which charge no fees to ships for waste reception, handling, or disposal; â¢ ânon-special feeâ systems, in which the cost of reception, handling, and disposal is included in overall port fees or general environÂ mental fees and charged regardless of whether or not waste is offloaded; â¢ âfixed feeâ systems, which are similar to the non-special fee sysÂ tems, but the waste disposal cost is a separate fixed fee and is paid regardless of whether or not the ship offloads waste; and â¢ âdeposit-refundâ systems which charge ships a mandatory waste management fee as a deposit, then refund all or part of this fee to those ships that use the port reception facility services (Olson, 1994; Carpenter and Macgill, 2001; Georgakellos, 2007). The non-special fee system has been employed in the Baltic region since the late 1990s under the Baltic Strategy of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), in an effort to prevent illegal discharges of waste at sea and to provide economic incentives to dispose onshore. The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, adopted in 2007, extended the existing non-special fee system for ship-generated wastes, but it also recommended that litter caught in fishing nets be covered in the non-special fee system. It further requested that its own members support and seek active cooperation with the neighboring North Sea Region for adoption of a similar non-special fee system for garbage. Additionally, since the Baltic Sea is designated a special area under MARPOL Annex V, and all discharges of garbage at sea are prohibited, HELCOM requires all ships to offload their garbage ashore prior to leaving Baltic ports (Helsinki Commission, 2007). Even without additional requirements as recommended in this docuÂ ment, ships continue to face shoreside disposal challenges at some berths in countries which have formally communicated the availability of adeÂ
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 63 quate reception facilities. In its previous report, the NRC noted that, in the United States, only âgeneral guidance is provided . . . but there are no technical standardsâ for port adequacy, leaving wide variations on the interpretation of âadequacyâ (National Research Council, 1995a). For example, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Certificate of Adequacy (COA) program bases its certification not on whether the ports actually accept shipborne garbage, but on whether they are capable of accepting garbage or can demonstrate that they have service providers on call who can accept the garbage. While it is well understood that such a service is not usually provided free of charge while docking at these berths, vessels, ready and willing to pay for disposal services either directly from the facility or via independent entities, are not always able to secure these services, even from those ports with COAs. Finding: While parties to MARPOL Annex V are required to ensure adequate port reception facilities, the standards for adequacy are unclear. Throughout the world, ships continue to encounter obstacles to discharging garbage ashore at some ports that have otherwise formally communicated the availability of adequate reception faciliÂ ties for MARPOL Annex V waste. Although the Guidelines for the Implementation of Annex V of MARPOL (International Maritime OrgaÂ nization, 2006b) provides additional guidance, it does not establish minimum standards. Recommendation: The U.S. delegation to IMO should advocate that MARPOL Annex V be amended to include explicit qualitative and quantitative standards for adequate port reception facilities, and that IMO provide assistance to achieve these standards. Port managers and users should be included in the development of clearer standards. In addition, the U.S. delegation should encourage IMO to incorporate incentives for proper onshore waste disposal in these standards. In the United States, USCG should incorporate these minimum stanÂ dards into their COA program and should encourage ports to provide incentives to vessel operators for discharging their waste ashore. â IMO maintains a Global Integrated Shipping Information System website (free to the p Â ublic after registration) that contains a Port Reception Facility module, which âconÂ tains information on the available port reception facilities for the delivery of the ship- g Â enerated waste, as provided by the competent authorities of the IMO member statesâ (International Maritime Organization, 2008c). It also contains a database of reports of alleged inadequacies. â USCG maintains an online database of U.S. ports and terminals that hold valid MARPOL COAs (U.S. Coast Guard, 2008).
64 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY DOMESTIC LEGAL, REGULATORY, AND MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK The U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the international conÂ ventions described above overlaps with a myriad of other laws that guide the prevention, reduction, and management of marine debris. Federal authorities and responsibilities relevant to marine debris management are spread across several agencies. The lead agencies for marine debris and their primary responsibilities include the following: â¢ the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose principal responsibilities include monitoring, research and education, fisheries management, and response and restoration; â¢ USCG, which is responsible for ship- and port-related issues, includÂ ing the COA program for port reception facilities and Â domestic implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V; and â¢ the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for regulating and monitoring the environmental impacts of garbage and land-based sources of marine debris, regulation of pollution discharged into coastal and marine waters, and Âdomestic implemenÂ tation of the London Convention and amended Protocol. U.S. management of marine debris is further complicated because the aforementioned federal agencies are not directly responsible for providÂ ing waste disposal services when garbage and other wastes reach or are generated on land. Although disposal, recycling, incineration, and landfill sites are regulated nationally by EPA, the responsibility for implementaÂ tion falls to the state and local levels and is organized by local government and service districts that may provide those services directly or enter into contracts with private service providers. The major domestic laws implementing requirements of MARPOL Annex V and the London Protocol, as well as other U.S. laws most relÂ evant to the prevention, reduction, and management of marine debris, are summarized. Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships of 1982 and the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1901 et seq.) was adopted in 1980. It was amended by the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 (MPPRCA) (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1901 et seq.) to implement the provisions of MARPOL Annex V. USCG has the primary responsibility under APPS for establishing and enforcing regulations, which require ships to maintain garbage record books and shipboard
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 65 management plans and to display placards (Figure 3.2) that notify the crew and passengers of the requirements of MARPOL Annex V; USCG also has responsibility to specify the ships to which the regulations apply (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1903(a)). In 1991, the rules were amended to give effect to an IMO amendment to MARPOL Annex V eliminating an exemption for the loss of synthetic material incidental to the repair of fishing nets. APPS and its implementing regulations generally follow the proviÂ sions and implementing regulations of MARPOL Annex V as set out in Table 3.1 (33 C.F.R. Â§Â§ 151.51â151.77). The discharge of garbage is prohibÂ ited within 3 nautical miles of shore, and the discharge of specified types of materials is prohibited 3â12 and 12â25 nautical miles from shore. The discharge of plastics at sea is prohibited, including synthetic ropes and synthetic fishing gear. All U.S. manned oceangoing vessels that are 26 feet or longer are required to display placards that notify crew of disposal restrictions. Every ship of 400 gross tons or more, manned fixed or floatÂ ing platforms, and every ship certified to carry more than 15 passengers engaged in international voyages must keep a written record of discharge, disposal, and incineration operations. Oceangoing ships longer than 40 feet documented under U.S. laws and U.S. fixed and floating platforms must have waste management plans. USCG has the authority to conÂ duct inspections of vessel discharge records and logbooks, to respond to FIGURE 3.2â Example of an APPS placard of garbage discharge restrictions for vessels (used with permission from the U.S. Coast Guard).
66 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY reports of illegal discharges, and to impose fines on violators. The proÂ visions of APPS relating to garbage and plastics apply to all U.S. ships operating anywhere in the world, and to foreign flag vessels operating in U.S. navigable waters, the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or at a port under the jurisdiction of the United States. In 1994, USCG did a study of compliance with the 1987 Act and regulations because, despite implementation of MARPOL Annex V, large quantities of plastic continued to wash ashore, obstruct navigation, and entangle marine life. USCG found that many vessels had neither plastic waste nor residue from incineration of plastic wastes onboard and that less than 20 percent of vessels calling at ports on the east and Gulf coasts off-loaded garbage at reception facilities (59 Fed. Reg. 18700 [April 19, 1994]). Because it was improbable that these vessels did not generate plastic waste and plastics continue to be a large component of the marine debris problem, USCG concluded that it was likely that illegal discharges had occurred. USCG determined that additional recordkeeping, in addiÂ tion to solid waste management plans, was necessary to ensure comÂ pliance with the no-discharge rule for plastic and planned to provide b Â oarding officers with better information. USCG administers the regulatory program for the reception facility COA program, including periodic inspection of the port reception faciliÂ ties to which those regulations apply (33 C.F.R. Â§ 158). All port facilities and terminals under U.S. jurisdiction, which include âcommercial fishÂ ing facilities, mineral- and petroleum-industry shore bases, and recreÂ ational boating facilities,â must have garbage reception facilities (33 C.F.R. Â§ 158.133; 33 C.F.R. Â§ 158.400 et seq.). COA of garbage facilities is required for ports or terminals for oceangoing vessels of 400 gross tons or more carrying oily mixtures or noxious liquid substances, or fishing vessels that offload more than 500,000 pounds of commercial fish products a year (33 C.F.R. Â§ 158.135). As of May 2008, approximately 2,295 facilities have valid COAs for MARPOL Annex V in the United States (U.S. Coast Guard, 2008). MARPOL does not apply directly to warships or public vessels, although party states are to ensure that their public vessels operate reaÂ sonably and practicably within the Convention. While the U.S. Navy was not originally covered by APPS, MPPRCA amendments required that all ships, including those of the Navy, abide by the requirements of MARPOL Annex V by December 31, 1993. Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 Title I of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1401 et seq.), commonly referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 67 (ODA), provides for the domestic implementation of the London ConvenÂ tion. EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), NOAA, and USCG each have some authority under ODA. EPA regulates ocean dumping of all substances except dredged materials, which are under the Â authority of USACE, and is responsible for the designation of ocean dumping sites. NOAA and EPA are also authorized to carry out research. USCG is charged with maintaining surveillance and appropriate enforcement activities. ODA requires a permit for any person seeking to transport material from the United States for the purpose of dumping in ocean waters. It also applies to persons seeking to dump from any vessel transporting material from outside the United States into a U.S. territorial sea or contiguous zone, and to U.S. flag vessels seeking to dump at any location. The ODA bans dumping of certain harmful wastes, such as radiological, chemical, medical, sewage sludge, and industrial wastes. Before getting a permit to dump other materials, the applicant must demonstrate that it âwill not unreasonably degrade or endanger human health, welfare, or amenities or the marine environment, ecological systems or economic potentialitiesâ (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1412). The materials may be dumped only at designated sites, and USACE must use EPA-designated sites for disposal of dredged mateÂ rial to the maximum extent feasible. The vast majority of the materials dumped in ocean waters in the United States are sediments dredged from waterways to maintain navigation channels. Other materials, including fish waste, vessels, and human remains, are dumped in limited amounts and are subject to different requirements. ODA does not cover discharges into the territorial sea that are required to be permitted under the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq.), commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA) (see later discussion), unless material is brought from outside the United States for dumping. EPA has promulgated applicable standards (40 C.F.R. Â§Â§ 220â229). Unlike the London Convention, which specifically excludes the disÂ posal at sea of wastes or other material incidental to the normal operaÂ tions of a vessel (e.g., MARPOL Annex V garbage), ODA has a more limÂ ited exclusion from its definition of dumping for the discharge of effluent from the operation of propulsion or other motor-driven equipment or vessels. Thus, under domestic law, USCG has determined that, except for this limited exception, transportation of garbage as defined by APPS for the purpose of dumping at sea is covered by ODA (54 Fed. Reg. 18384, 18392 [April 26, 1989]). As previously discussed, the London Convention was amended by the London Protocol to adopt a more stringent regime to protect the worldâs oceans from the impacts of ocean dumping. On September 4, 2007, the President submitted to the Senate his request for advice and consent for
68 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY U.S. ratification of the London Protocol. The legislative proposal to impleÂ ment the London Protocol (i.e., amendments to ODA) was signed by the EPA Administrator on November 7, 2007, and transmitted to the U.S. Congress. Implementation of the London Protocol will not require signifiÂ cant changes to the U.S. ocean dumping program as it currently operates. Some changes to ODA would be needed, including incorporating the London Protocolâs Annex I list of materials that may be considered for ocean dumping, except for sewage sludge, which is banned in the United States; extending coverage of ODA to the EEZ for dumping by non-U.S. vessels coming from outside the United States; prohibiting incineration at sea and export of waste for dumping or incineration at sea; prohibiting ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste; explicitly covering sub- seabed storage and disposal; and requiring a permit for ocean dumping of fish wastes under certain circumstances. While the current Act does not prohibit incineration at sea or dumping of low-level radioactive wastes, it has long been U.S. practice not to authorize such activities. Other Federal Marine Debris Laws and Programs As described above, APPS, MPPRCA, and ODA are the primary domestic laws that implement MARPOL Annex V, the London ConvenÂ tion, the London Protocol, and the regulation and management of marine debris in the United States. However, there are many additional layers of laws that set out the international and domestic regulatory and manageÂ ment framework for the management of ocean- and land-based sources of marine debris. Several of these laws are described briefly. Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act of 2006 The recently enacted Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (MDRPRA) (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1951 et seq.) established NOAAâs Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program; reconstituted the InterÂ agency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC), which NOAA co-chairs with EPA; directed USCG to develop a strategy to improve implementation of MARPOL Annex V; and directed NOAA to establish a federal interagency marine debris data clearinghouse. The Act authoÂ rized up to $10 million for NOAA to implement the program, including mapping, identification, and impact assessments, removal and prevenÂ tion activities, research and development of alternatives to gear that poses threats to the marine environment, and outreach activities; the Act also authorized $2 million for USCG activities. The MDRPRA, which was signed into law on December 22, 2006, authorized the NRC to prepare this report.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 69 Clean Water Act of 1972 The Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, more comÂ monly known as the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq.), is imporÂ tant for the regulation of land-based sources of debris as a pollutant of marine waters and to the regulation of discharges from vessels. Under the CWA, discharging pollutants from point sources into the navigable waters and territorial seas of the United States is generally prohibited unless a permit has been issued consistent with applicable regulations issued by EPA. EPA has the authority to set higher standards for discharges into marine waters to prevent unreasonable degradation of ocean ecosystems (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq. Â§ 403). The CWA defines âvessels and floating craftâ as point sources. EPA has recently proposed a general permit to cover incidental discharges from normal operations of vessels to naviÂ gable waters of the United States (73 Fed. Reg. 34296 [June 17, 2008]). In discussing its proposal, EPA noted that the permit will not cover disÂ charge of garbage that is regulated by USCG under MARPOL Annex V requirements. Nonpoint source pollution and runoff during storms are the most significant sources of pollutants, including debris, that are washed into coastal and marine waters. Under Section 319 of the CWA (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq. Â§ 319), states are required to develop management plans for conÂ trolling nonpoint source pollution. The plans must include identification of best management practices and measures and set annual milestones for implementation. EPA shares responsibility with NOAA and the states for implementing the coastal nonpoint source pollution control programs (see discussion of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 [16 U.S.C. Â§ 1451 et seq.]). Stormwater runoff, which is recognized as a major source of the marine debris along U.S. coasts and waterways, is regulated as a point source under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. EPAâs stormwater regulations require more than 5,000 municipalities, and many industrial facilities, to obtain permits (40 C.F.R. Â§ 122.26). Most states are authorized to implement stormwater permit programs. The primary way for municipalities and industries to meet the stormwater regulations is to apply best management practices to prevent floatables and other pollutÂ ants from washing into storm sewers. EPA has also developed a combined sewer overflow control strategy, relevant mostly to older cities where sanitary and stormwater systems are combined, to minimize discharges and pollution of waterways and marine waters. Some states have listed debris as a pollutant that is impairing their waters and are required to develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL) to identify measures to redress the impairment and the impacts of the debris (Environmental Protection Agency, 2002). TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and
70 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY still attain water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutantâs point and nonpoint sources (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq. Â§ 303; 40 C.F.R. Â§ 130.7). On their 1998 lists of impaired waters, ÂCalifornia, New York, Alaska, Washington, and Connecticut identified a total of 62 waterÂ bodies as water quality impaired because of debris, trash, floatables, and large woody debris. California has developed TMDLs for trash Â(California Regional Water Quality Control Board, 2001). In addition, under the leaderÂ ship of its multiagency Ocean Protection Council, California has identiÂ fied marine debris as a priority and has supported several initiatives to prevent and reduce marine debris (Box 3.2). The Plant Protection Act and the Animal Health Protection Act The Plant Protection Act and the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. Â§ 7701 et seq.; 7 U.S.C. Â§ 8301 et seq.) are implemented and enforced by the U.S. Department of Agricultureâs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Under the Federal Plant Pest RegulaÂ tions (7 C.F.R. Â§ 330.400â401) and the Animal and Animal Product ReguÂ lations (9 C.F.R. Â§ 94.5), certain shipboard garbage that is aboard vessels entering U.S. ports from outside the United States (except Â Canada), as well as interstate movement of garbage between Hawaii and U.S. territories and possessions and other states, is regulated by APHIS to prevent the introduction or movement of plant pests and livestock or poultry diseases. Regulated garbage includes âall waste material that is derived in whole or in part from fruits, vegetables, meats, or other plant or animal (including Âpoultry) material, and other refuse of any character whatsoever that has been associated with any such materialâ (7 C.F.R. Â§ 330.400b; 9 C.F.R. Â§ 94.5b). Among other requirements, regulated garÂ bage is required to be kept in containers meeting specific requirements and may not be removed unless it is done under the direction of an APHIS inspector and sent to an approved facility. In order for a port or terminal to receive a COA for its garbage reception facilities, the port must certify that it is capable of receiving APHIS waste within 24 hours of receiving notices from an incoming vessel that it intends to discharge such waste (33 C.F.R. Â§ 151.65 and 158.410). The civil and criminal penÂ alties associated with violations of APHIS regulations and additional requirements associated with proper shoreside disposal of regulated garbage may result in an indirect incentive for vessels to dispose of plant- and animal-associated waste at sea in accordance with MARPOL Annex V prior to entering U.S. waters.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 71 BOX 3.2 Marine Debris Initiatives: A California Case Study The state of California has been a leader in the effort to combat marine debris. It has employed several methods to educate and involve the public. For example, the California Coastal Commission (2008) has a website to illustrate how trash becomes marine debris, how marine debris harms animals and humans, and how the public can help. The Commission also has an Adopt-A-Beach program, which works year round to collect marine debris washed up on Californiaâs beaches. The annual Coastal Cleanup Day, the highlight of the Adopt-A-Beach program, now receives more than 60,000 volunteers each year. Since the Cleanup Day programâs introduction in 1985, over 800,000 volunteers have removed more than 12 million pounds of debris from Californiaâs coasts (California Coastal Commission, 2008). The California Ocean Protection Council, established in 2004 in accordance with the requirements of the California Ocean Protection Act, adopted a resolution to establish the following top marine debris priorities: â 1. Reduce the sources of plastic marine debris. â 2. Increase enforcement of anti-litter laws generally, and enforcement of laws to eliminate pollution by plastic resin pellets. â 3. Seek innovative methods to reduce plastic waste. â 4. Continue and expand watershed-based cleanups. â 5. Increase the availability of trash, recycling and cigarette butt receptacles at public places, schools, and commercial establishments statewide. â 6. Promote environmental education and outreach on the impacts of plastic debris and litter prevention. â 7. Coordinate a marine debris steering committee. â 8. Coordinate a regional effort. â 9. Reduce single-use plastic packaging. 10. Remove derelict fishing gear. 11. Ban toxic plastic packaging. 12. Advance environmental education. 13. Prepare an education plan. (California Ocean Protection Council, 2007) The California Ocean Protection Council has also developed a draft strategy to implement this resolution (California Ocean Protection Council, 2008). This strategy pinpoints three policies that California should enact to eliminate marine debris: (1) create a âtake-backâ program, which would require manufacturers to reclaim and properly dispose of the plastic packaging from those products that would require such packaging; (2) establish a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers; and (3) enforce fees on other plastic packaging (California Ocean Protection Council, 2008). The state of California and several jurisdictions within the state have already enacted or are trying to enact legislation that speaks to these priorities (e.g., bans on some polystyrene food packaging, bills to reduce the use of single-use plastic and paper bags and to establish a reporting and removal program for derelict fishing gear).
72 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) (42 U.S.C. Â§ 6901 et seq.), administered by EPA in partnership with the states, sets out a comprehensive national framework for defining, managing, and regulating solid and hazardous waste. RCRA is important to proper management of shipborne waste when it reaches shore, including reuse and recycling. RCRA Subtitle D incorporates a solid waste management h Â ierarchy that encourages waste minimization, reuse, and recycling efforts and provides for environmentally sound handling and disposal. In 1987, the EPA Administrator was directed by Congress to underÂ take a study of the adverse impacts of plastics on the environment and methods to reduce or eliminate effects, particularly on fish and wildlife, as well as to conduct public outreach (42 U.S.C. Â§ 6981). Recognizing the potential for plastic ring carriers to entangle fish and wildlife, in 1998 Congress also directed EPA to adopt regulations to limit this threat through redesign or requirements that the carriers be degradable in the marine environment (42 U.S.C. Â§ 6914b and b-1). The 1995 NRC report discussed at some length the need for an inteÂ grated vessel garbage management system that includes the existing land- based management systems and port and terminal operations (National Research Council, 1995a). Regrettably, there does not seem to be any significant progress toward this integration. For example, there still is no requirement for formal coordination between RCRA and the shipÂ board garbage management plans or port COAs. Responsibilities of ports and terminal operators for accepting garbage, providing onsite facilities for recycling, or coordinating with private contractors to ensure proper h Â andling and disposal are still ill defined. Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 Under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Â§ 1451 et seq.), the federal government provides funding to the coastal states and territories to develop coastal zone management programs and enforceÂ able policies consistent with national guidelines to enhance protection and conservation of the coastal environment, to support water-dependent businesses, and to guide development in the coastal zone. The states are required to conduct periodic self-assessments and to develop strategies to improve management in several areas, including the management of marine debris. States have developed numerous projects and programs to address marine debris; however, they vary widely and there are no specific requirements or measures of effectiveness. In 1990, Congress established the coastal nonpoint pollution control program under SecÂ tion 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 73 (16 U.S.C. Â§ 1455b), which is jointly administered by NOAA and EPA. All states participating in the Coastal Zone Management Act must develop coastal nonpoint pollution management plans to implement measures largely consisting of best management practices under guidelines develÂ oped by EPA to control significant sources of polluted runoff in coastal waters (Environmental Protection Agency, 1993). One example relevant to marine debris is the establishment of Clean Marina Programs. The coastal nonpoint program was a driving force behind Clean Marina Program development in 12 states (Alabama, Connecticut, Louisiana, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) and helped to gain support for programs in many other states (see also Environmental Protection Agency, 2003). Shore Protection Act of 1988 The Shore Protection Act of 1988 (33 U.S.C. Â§ 2601 et seq.) was adopted to prevent deposition of municipal and commercial waste into U.S. coastal waters. It requires vessels that transport commercial or municipal waste in coastal waters to secure a permit from the Department of TransportaÂ tion. Regulations promulgated by EPA establish minimum waste Âhandling practices for vessels and waste handling facilities involved in the transÂ port of municipal or commercial wastes in the coastal waters of the United States. These vessels and waste handling facilities are required to develop operation and maintenance manuals that identify procedures to prevent, report, and clean up discharges of waste in coastal waters. EPA has proÂ vided guidance on development of operation and maintenance manuals and encourages the use and documentation of existing industry practices that meet or exceed EPAâs proposed minimum waste handling standards (40 C.F.R. Â§ 237). The impetus for the Shore Protection Act was, in large part, due to the increased use of barges to transport waste and by the concomitant increase in floatables washing ashore in New York and New Jersey. As a response, an interstate and federal interagency effort was developed in 1989 for the New York/New Jersey Harbor complex. To date, approximately 350 million pounds of debris have been removed from the New York Harbor area. A summary and key findings from EPAâs assessment of the floatables action plan is set out in Box 3.3. Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 Congress enacted the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 (33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251 et seq.) to amend the CWA to reduce the risk of disease to users along coastal recreation waters. Under the Act, EPA is authorized to award grants to states, territories, tribes, and
74 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY BOX 3.3 Floatables Action Plan Assessment Report The Floatables Action Plan was developed in 1989 to address floatable debris in the New York Bight, which includes the New York/New Jersey Harbor Complex and the shorelines of Long Island and New Jersey. The plan was developed jointly by an interagency workgroup that included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York City Department of Sanitation, and the Interstate Sanitation Commission. The Floatables Action Plan has been carried out each year since to control wash-ups of floatable debris on area beaches. The plan consists of aerial surveillance via heliÂ copter and fixed-winged plane, a communications network to report âslickâ sightings and to coordinate cleanup response, and routine cleanups conducted by skimmer vessels in the harbor area. Since its inception, the plan has significantly reduced the amount of floating debris escaping the Harbor Complex and has expanded to include volunteer collection programs, boom and skim programs, combined sewer overflow collection programs, and beach cleanup programs. 2006 Floatable Observations Twenty-one significant floatable slicks were observed in 2006. Newark Bay had the most slicks observed, nine, and the Kill Van Kull, with zero slicks observed, had the least. Six slicks were reported in the Lower New York Harbor, five slicks in the Upper New York Harbor, and one slick in the Arthur Kill. TrendsâFloatable Sightings in the New York/New Jersey Harbor Complex A total of 513 significant slicks was observed over an 18-year period. The sightÂ ings of slicks have varied from year to year with the most number of slicks, 81, reported in 1990. The least number of slick sightings, 6 slicks, was reported in 1998. For unknown reasons, there was a significant increase in slick observations in 2004 followed by a decrease in 2005 and 2006. For the 13-year period, 53.6 percent of the observed slicks were in the moderate category, 26.8 percent were in the heavy category, and 19.6 percent were in the major category. SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency (2007a). local governments to test and monitor coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar public access points. Grants can also be used to support programs to notify the public of the potential risk of exposure to disease-causing microorganisms in coastal recreation waters. EPA can also provide technical assistance to states and local governments to assess and monitor floatable materials. EPA issued a report entitled âAssessing and Monitoring Floatable Debrisâ that compiled and presented the most current information available addressing the assessment and monitoring
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 75 of floatable debris (Environmental Protection Agency, 2002). This report provides examples of monitoring and assessment programs and mitigaÂ tion actions designed to address the impact of floatable debris. It includes a specific discussion of plans and programs that seek to reduce floatable debris, including the New York/New Jersey Floatables Action Plan, EPAâs combined sewer overflow program, and the Ocean Conservancyâs InterÂ national Coastal Cleanup Campaign. Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 The Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. Â§ 6401 et seq.) established a coral reef conservation program at NOAA, required the development of a national coral reef action strategy, and authorized grants for coral reef conservation projects. At the time of passage of the Act, it was becoming increasingly clear that marine debris, particularly large amounts of DFG, were causing damage to fragile reef ecosystems. Under its Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA is authorized to provide âassistance to states in removing abandoned fishing gear, marine debris, and abandoned vessels from coral reefs to conserve living marine resourcesâ (16 U.S.C. Â§ 6401). GAPS IN DOMESTIC REGULATION AND MANAGEMENT More and more people are moving near the nationâs coasts and the production of trash and floatable debris continues to increase. Without better control of the handling and disposal of trash and other wastes or reduction in the production and sale of items that are problematic as sources of pollution and waste, it is likely that the amount of such debris entering the nationâs waterways will increase. There currently is no national marine debris strategy and there are no clear lines of responsibility for addressing this multifaceted marine debris problem. While IMDCC holds out some promise for coordinating federal agency activities, there are still no clear lines of leadership, accountability, or commitment to funding program implementation over the long term. Successful management of marine debris requires not only leaderÂ ship and sustained funding, but also identification of the prevalence and potential sources of marine debris through monitoring and assessment programs, and also an understanding of the incentives, socioÂeconomic conditions, and activities that produce sources of marine debris. An important element of this effort is the effective integration of marine debris management and regulation into existing programs for coastal zone management, nonpoint pollution, and solid waste management. Reduction and abatement of the marine debris problems will require
76 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY more extensive documentation and monitoring activities to assess the types, sources, and amounts of marine debris, combined with coordinated public education programs targeting key user groups and priority debris pollutants. This information is critical to developing effective solid waste management strategies focused on marine debris. The effectiveness of laws and regulations to prevent ocean-based sources of marine debris will depend to a large extent on the ability and willingness of vessel operators to reduce the amount of potential waste coming aboard, to manage waste and garbage onboard their vessels, and to discharge their waste at ports and terminals that utilize good waste management practices. Involvement of academia, industry, and nonÂ governmental organizations will be particularly important to understandÂ ing the full waste stream and identifying opportunities to reduce potential sources before they become garbage. Garbage management onboard ships and integration with the land-based solid waste management system pose many challenges that are not adequately addressed under the current laws and programs. This disconnect is reflected in the statement of task for this committee, which arbitrarily continues to separate analysis of ocean- and land-based sources. The gaps in domestic regulation and manÂ agement can be addressed by improvement in the following four areas: (1) leadership and coordination; (2) integration of onshore and shipboard solid waste management systems; (3) enhanced interagency, industry, and public attention to waste minimization and source reduction; and (4) standards for enforcement and compliance. Finally, there is a need to develop programs and priorities for the mitigation and removal of debris that has been discharged into the marine environment. Leadership and Coordination In their recent reports, both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission highlighted the need for more effective interagency communication and coordination to improve the governance of U.S. oceans and coasts (Pew Oceans Commission, 2003; U.S. CommisÂ sion on Ocean Policy, 2004). In response, the Executive Branch developed the U.S. Ocean Action Plan, which included a new interagency ocean govÂ ernance structure to improve coordination among the myriad of federal agencies charged with overseeing the U.S. oceans and coasts, including revival of the IMDCC (Bush Administration, 2004). Under several of the laws described above, including the most recent MDRPRA, Congress has charged federal agencies to coordinate efforts to address the problem of marine debris that has been historically spread across many agencies. Although the MDRPRA has established the NOAA Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program and designates NOAA
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 77 as the chairperson of the IMDCC, NOAA has designated EPA as co-chair of the IMDCC. Congress has twice directed the formation of IMDCC. However, lack of consistent funding support and past efforts of IMDCC failed in effecÂ tively coordinating or galvanizing the interests and resources of key agenÂ cies to tackle the complex marine debris monitoring, assessment, and mitigation challenges. The 1995 NRC report made the call for national leadership a keystone of their recommendations, going so far as to call for a permanent national marine debris commission (National Research Council, 1995a). It is not surprising that marine debris has not consistently received high priority given the complex framework of laws and agency responsibilities, and agenciesâ more prominent mission mandates such as homeland security, toxic pollution and hazardous waste reduction, and atmospheric research and fisheries management. This failure also reflects the historical and legal boundaries of a Â uthority imposed on these agencies by statute and their different and sometimes rigid institutional cultures. These differences are exacerbated when Âbudgets are tight and collaboration takes a back seat to core mission responsibilities. USCG manages ships and U.S. ports, including port waste reception facilities, but does not have principal responsibility for overall solid waste management. EPA manages a wide range of pollution sources and pollutants, but has limited authority over maritime activities. USDA is responsible for inspection of certain plant and animal wastes but is not involved in regulating other shipborne garbage. NOAA manages living marine resources, including their habitats, and has been given additional marine debris program responsibilities under the MDRPRAâincluding prevention, assessment, research, and outreachâbut has limited Âauthority over ships, polluters, and shoreside coastal activities in general. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages some marine mammals and other coastal wildlife and birds and has jurisdiction over U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, but it has no direct role in controlling marine debris on land or at sea. The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for maintaining the integrity of National Parks and Seashores; but, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NPS has no direct role in controlling marine debris on land or at sea. In addition, USACE has responsibility over dredging and filling in the coastal zone but lacks authority over ocean- or land-based sources of marine debris. Agencies have assessed their own roles within their own authority and in some cases have had limited success (Donohue, 2003; Sheavly, 2007). As previously described, progress being made by agency and interagency actions appears to be local, ephemeral, and in some cases upstream from direct deposition or impacts (e.g., vessel placards, public outreach, port COAs). A review of some past efforts by NPS, NOAAâs National Marine
78 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Fisheries Service, and EPA is provided by Ribic et al. (1997). Unfortunately, progress on various subelements of the marine debris problem does not constitute progress on the overall problem. As suggested by NRC (1995a), this vexing situation requires either more effective interagency cooperaÂ tion or the creation or designation of a senior agency to fill this role. Until there is clear direction of a lead agency responsible for addressing marine debris as a priority issue or for addressing gaps in the current regime and assuming responsibility for interagency coordination, it will be very difÂ ficult to manage the marine debris problem comprehensively, effectively, and for long enough to be successful. Consideration needs to be given to ensuring long-term support of NOAAâs new Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program and to clarifying the roles and responsibilities of NOAA and other agencies in IMDCC. Finding: Although the U.S. Congress has charged federal agencies with addressing the marine debris problem and has called for interÂ agency coordination, leadership and governance remain diffuse and ineffective. Recommendation: IMDCC or Congress should clearly designate a lead agency to expand cooperative marine debris programs, including but not limited to land-based marine debris, DFG, shipborne waste, and abandoned vessels. IMDCC should develop a national strategy and national standards and priorities for dealing with all elements of marine debris. The strategic plan should include a clear identificaÂ tion of lead agencies, an implementation schedule, and performance benchmarks. Finding: There is no formal or functional coordination between RCRA (42 U.S.C. Â§ 6901 et seq.), which regulates U.S. waste management and disposal, and the shipboard solid waste management plans or port and terminal waste management and COAs. Recommendation: Specific performance standards should be develÂ oped by USCG in collaboration with EPA for COAs; approval of port COAs should be conditioned on formal coordination between ports and solid waste management systems based on the RCRA waste manÂ agement hierarchy and best management practices and guidance develÂ oped by EPA. Performance standards and COA and port discharge requirements should be based on an understanding of the capacity and capabilities of vessel types and waste streams, not just a hypothetical capability to handle wastes. The private sector and nongovernmental organizations should be included as partners in these efforts.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 79 Integrated Solid Waste Management System As previously described, both nationally and internationally, there continue to be obstacles and disincentives to proper landside disposal of waste generated at sea (see âPort Reception Facilitiesâ discussion earlier in this chapter). While there have been repeated calls for an integrated ship-to-shore solid waste management system (e.g., National Research Council, 1995a), this remains a significant challenge. Port facility review is further complicated by the varied (and in many cases very limited) roles that terminal operators and port authorities play at the vesselâport interface of the solid waste flow. In some cases, the ports are no more than silent partners where ship operators contract directly with waste management firms. Port authorities, who are not in the garbage business, are reluctant to take on a direct management role or take responsibility for ship-generated solid waste, and local solid waste management program operators have little incentive to incorporate ship-generated solid waste into their management programs. EPA needs to work actively with states, ports, terminal operators, and the private sector to increase collaboration between RCRA and CWA program offices and to identify approaches and support state efforts to incorporate solid waste streams from ships into the local and state solid waste management plans. While much of the focus of past marine debris efforts has been on ships and vessels under the jurisdiction of MARPOL Annex V and APPS, there is also a need to expand programs targeted at debris from other and smaller vessel types, as well as COAs or similar certification for smaller ports. USCG, EPA, and NOAA, as well as industry and nongovernmental organizations, have education and outreach programs directed toward recreational boaters and other vessels that could be expanded. Finding: Despite past recommendations and legislative mandates for collaboration, there continues to be a legal disconnect and jurisÂ dictional discontinuity between solid waste management mandates afloat and ashore. Recommendation: EPA should work with state and local solid waste management programs and port and terminal operators to support a seamless connection and accountability for transfer of ship-generated garbage into the terrestrial waste management system. Waste Minimization and Source Reduction There has been substantial progress in ship-generated solid waste management practices since the adoption of MARPOL Annex V and its
80 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY implementing legislation. More effective implementation of vessel-based waste management can be improved by â¢ adoption of prevention and mitigation programs to reduce the sources of marine debris that are used in ordinary ship operations; â¢ changes in waste-handling practices and technology onboard vesÂ sels to include waste reduction and recycling and to incorporate zero-discharge goals where feasible and practicable; and â¢ expanded efforts to ensure the adequacy in fact, the implementaÂ tion of cost-effective enhancement of port reception facilities, and the integration of shipboard and onshore solid waste management plans and systems. Industry and nongovernmental organizations have also taken an interest in the development of environmental management systems that can enhance waste management. For example, the International OrganiÂ zation for Standardization (ISO) has developed standards and guidelines for environmental management systems (ISO 14000). Application of ISO 14000 or similar environmental management systems to port operations, ship operations, and the shipâport interface could minimize waste and reduce marine debris (e.g., Urban Harbors Institute, 2000; Environmental Protection Agency, 2004). Segments of the cruise and ocean shipping sectors provide good examples of effective shipboard solid waste management programs. For example, members of the Cruise Lines International Association, Inc., have adopted mandatory environmental standards with a goal of zero at-sea discharge of solid wastes and overall waste minimization proceÂ dures (Cruise Lines International Association, Inc., 2006; Environmental Protection Agency, 2007a). The Cruise Lines International Associationâs programs also include stringent monitoring and auditing practices and procedures. Similarly, the Matson Navigation Company has implemented a âzero solid waste dischargeâ program for its domestic containership route. Under this program, Matson has limited waste disposed at sea to food scraps; all other solid waste materials are retained for recycling or disposal at shoreside facilities. Zero-discharge initiatives made possible by the implementation of aggressive solid waste minimization programs have been implemented in shoreside operations for a number of years and, although some of the approaches and technologies they have develÂ oped may not be applicable to vessel operations, other approaches may be transferable. Finding: Zero discharge, source reduction, and waste minimizaÂ tion practices have been implemented in industrial settings ashore
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 81 for a number of years. Some vessels have successfully adopted zero or minimal discharge practices based on these successful shoreside models. Recommendation: USCG, in coordination with EPA, should promulÂ gate best management practices that reflect the maximum practicable extent to which ships can operate without the need to dispose of garÂ bage at sea. Development of these best management practices should be based on successful zero discharge, source reduction, and waste minimization practices, coupled with an understanding of the techniÂ cal and financial abilities of different vessel types to retain different forms of waste. IMDCC should support the adoption of voluntary zero waste discharge standards and implementation of these best management practices to achieve that goal. Source reduction efforts will require publicâprivate partnerships and the active involvement of manufacturers, industry groups, ports, and solid waste management agencies to be successful. Industry efforts to reduce overall amounts of packaging and to develop more environmenÂ tally friendly materials, including reduction of plastic trash and increased recycling of plastics, can potentially contribute to significant reductions in marine debris. One example is the American Chemistry Council marine l Â itter campaign, which brings leaders from government, academia, indusÂ try, and nongovernmental organizations together to develop solutions. In 2007, the American Chemistry Council held a workshop, in conjunction with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to discuss current research, sources of marine debrisâboth land- and ocean-basedâand possible solutions. These efforts were started partly in response to rising public concern in California and other states about plastics pollution, and local and state efforts to limit and regulate plastic packaging. It will be increasÂ ingly important for all agencies, academic institutions, industries, nonÂ governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to support public and private partnerships to effectively tackle specific marine debris problems. Finding: There is a need to focus additional attention on potential waste before and after it reaches the ship. Shipboard-focused proÂ grams are unlikely to be fully successful without additional efforts to encourage source reduction on the front end and additional efforts to ensure reception facilities consistent with projected needs on the receiving end. Recommendation: EPA should take the lead in coordinating with IMDCC to work with academia, industry, and nongovernmental orgaÂ
82 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY nizations to develop industry standards and guidelines for source reduction, reuse, and recycling for solid wastes that are utilized and generated during normal ship operations. Enforcement and Compliance In Chapter 2, the committee noted the limited amount of quantitative monitoring and research data available; however, these data suggest that measures taken thus far have not been successful in abating the problems. Similarly, there is difficulty in assessing the effectiveness of the regulatory framework at both national and international levels; information that is available indicates that the effectiveness could be improved. The comÂ mittee received presentations from a number of experts which indicated that existing metrics of effectiveness are limited and, in most cases, nonÂ existent from a global perspective. Recordkeeping (e.g., number of vessels discharging garbage at ports, amounts of garbage discharged, number of reports of inadequacies, number of violations) could all be useful indicators of effectiveness. Yet, there is no comprehensive collection of this type of data domestically or internationally. Garbage management plans and logbooks provide only a vague idea of compliance and do not apply to vessels smaller than 40 feet. The number of port COAs or reports of inadequacies may be an indicator of the ability (or inability) of vessels to discharge their waste shoreside. For example, EPAâs âDraft Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Reportâ examined, among other issues, the USCG port reception facility COA program (Environmental Protection Agency, 2007b). The report noted that USCG conducted over 14,000 facility inspections in 2006, up from approximately 3,500 inspections conducted during calendar year 2000. These included inspections of MARPOL Annex V port reception facilities for compliance and adequacy. USCG issued or responded to and investiÂ gated 2,986 complaints of reception facility deficiencies in 2006, up from 2,587 in calendar year 2000. The report also noted that, from 2002 to 2006, USCG has documented a 26 percent reduction in the number of pollution incidents reported at facilities. However, these and similar analyses are done a posteriori, without accounting for confounding issues that may contribute to changes in compliance and adequacy. They provide limited insight into the effectiveness of MARPOL Annex V. Enforcement data are also interesting but inadequate for assessing effectiveness because enforcement actions may be indicators of enforceÂ ment effort, or even happenstance, rather than accurate indicators of nonÂ compliance rates. Therefore, it was difficult for the committee to assess the effectiveness of international and national measures to prevent and reduce marine debris based solely on regulatory information. Nevertheless, the
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 83 continued presence of ship-generated waste in the marine environment clearly indicates that challenges to MARPOL Annex V implementation have not been overcome. A meaningful understanding of the efficacy of these regulations is required by decision makers if improvements are to be achieved through enhanced and refined regulatory language, increased compliance, outreach, and other means. Within the United States, the demands on USCG for oversight and enforcement will increase as shipÂ borne commerce expands. There is concern that USCG does not have sufÂ ficient resources and trained personnel to ensure a fully effective marine solid waste management regime. The need for trained resources will be more important if future efforts expand beyond review of operational compliance with garbage manifest regulations to consideration of qualiÂ tative standards for proper solid waste management, both on the vessel and at the port. The second edition of the Guidelines for the Implementation of Annex V of MARPOL explicitly addresses compliance issues: Recognizing that direct enforcement of Annex V regulations, particularly at sea, is difficult to accomplish, governments are encouraged to consider not only restrictive and punitive measures but also the removal of any disincentives, creation of positive incentives, and the development of voluntary measures within the regulated community when developing programs and domestic legislation to ensure compliance of Annex V (International Maritime Organization, 2006b). These guidelines on enforcement, compliance incentive systems, and voluntary measures provide opportunities for national and international data collection and analysis. The NRC (1995a) outlines the enormity of developing a national data system and devotes an entire section in the report on recordkeeping as a measure of MARPOL Annex V implemenÂ tation. The findings and recommendations from Chapter 8, Measuring Progress in Implementation of MARPOL Annex V, remain valid and largely unexecuted. To turn IMOâs guidelines into mandatory practices would be a significant step forward. Finding: Forensic analysis of enforcement and compliance informaÂ tion is a necessary tool for evaluating the effectiveness of implementaÂ tion of MARPOL Annex V; however, there is no comprehensive sysÂ tem in place for collecting and analyzing information for this purpose at either domestic or international levels. Recommendation: USCG, in coordination with IMDCC, should develop a program to analyze the effectiveness of domestic reguÂ lations to reduce marine debris. Where feasible, it should utilize
84 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY recordÂkeeping, enforcement, and other data that are already being collected and should investigate additional metrics that may be useful in measuring effectiveness. The U.S. delegation should recommend that IMO, in its ongoing review of MARPOL Annex V, incorporate this program into a global analysis of the effectiveness of MARPOL Annex V. Debris Mitigation and Removal It is readily apparent that there is no national strategy for mitigation and removal of marine debris. A national strategic plan would identify the aspects of marine debris that are most troublesome. For example, to what extent is society concerned with and impacted by visual disÂamenities associated with littered shores, health and safety issues related to hazÂ ardous wastes or pollution caused by debris, or the various ecosystem impacts or impacts on species at risk? A meaningful strategic plan cannot be developed without first prioritizing concerns, as well as identifying opportunities for taking action. Next, a comprehensive inventory of the current spatial distribution of littoral, benthic, and pelagic debris and its composition is needed, as well as knowledge of debris sources. Then, estimates of the costs of prevention, mitigation, and removal are needed. Armed with these types of information, society would be well positioned to steer limited resources to the most cost-effective projectsâprojects that address priorities at the least cost. There are numerous examples of this approach in business and in government. The EPA Superfund program is an example of how to prioritize sites and to methodically remediate them. A risk assessment approach (National Research Council, 1983, 1993, 1995b, 1996b, c, 2002, 2004; Pratt et al., 1995) could serve as an alternative template for prioritizing mitigation and remediation projects. In the case of marine debris, it is likely that society has a plurality of objectives that is not neatly subsumed into a strict hierarchy; in this case, there are a variety of multicriteria decision-analysis approaches that could be brought to bear to prioritize mitigation and remediation projects (e.g., Keeney and Raiffa, 1976; Saaty, 1990; National Research Council, 2004). There may be some sites that are so expensive to remediate (e.g., the deep ocean) that the funding necessary to launch a remediation project can never be advanced. There may be some sources of debris generation that are so ubiquitous, diffuse, or otherwise difficult to control in the marine enviÂ ronment that it is preferable to examine ways to limit their production or sale or alter production processes. While these âupstreamâ solutions are beyond the scope of the report, for the most problematic and pervasive types of garbage, they merit greater attention in the future by EPA and other federal and state agencies working with the private sector.
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 85 Selecting priorities for prevention, mitigation, or remediation is only a first step. It is also necessary to devise an incentive structure to support the achievement of objectives. There are four fundamental approaches to influencing behavior: (1) moral suasion or social pressure; (2) standards or mandated technological solutions; (3) fines, taxes, or subsidies; and (4) definition and allocation of entitlements and obligations within a m Â arket structure. The design of an incentive structure to support the preÂ vention of continued deposition of debris into the marine environment and the mitigation or removal of marine debris that is present may use any combination of these incentive systems. Public awareness campaigns can shame people into being less inclined to drop their trash on the beach or overboard. Clean Marina and Clean Harbor programs are examples of moral suasion campaigns. Fines or subsidies can lead people to desist from undesired behaviors or to engage in desired behaviors. However, to be effective there has to be a reasonably high probability of the adverse behavior being detected so that the expected value of the fine is meanÂ ingfully large. Taxes change effective prices and lead people to change their behavior to minimize their tax burden and can be an effective way of influencing choices of production and consumption technologies and behaviors. For example, a tax on synthetic fishing gear would encourage a more conservative use of synthetic gear and, if high enough, might lead to reconsideration of biodegradable fibers. Defined standards or technoloÂ gies have been used by EPA for emissions control. In general, defining required performance standards and leaving people free to determine how to achieve those standards results in higher compliance and lower costs of compliance. Definition and allocation of entitlements and obligaÂ tions within a market structure work well for activities that are easily observed by other participants, even if they are not easily observed by enforcement agencies. However, the deposition of marine debris is not easily observed. If it were, beaches would not fill with litter and vessels would not complete transoceanic voyages without needing to dispose of at least some plastic debris in their port of call. When there are multiple objectives to attain, as is likely the case for a national marine debris straÂ tegic plan, it is likely that a combination of incentive structures will be needed. Finding: Current marine debris mitigation efforts are episodic and c Â risis driven. There is a need for a reliable, dedicated funding stream to support marine debris mitigation efforts and a national strategy and framework for identifying priorities for removal of marine debris. Recommendation: IMDCC should work with nongovernmental orgaÂ nizations and the private sector to identify and establish a national
86 TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY strategic plan for addressing the marine debris problem and to idenÂ tify funding mechanisms and reliable funding streams to support marine debris mitigation activities. CONCLUSION The following findings and recommendations express overarching concepts discussed in the previous findings and recommendations in Chapter 3. Overarching Finding: Despite measures to prevent and reduce marine debris, evidence shows that the problem continues and will likely get worse. This indicates that current measures for preventing and reducÂ ing marine debris are inadequate. At both the international and the domestic levels, marine debris responsibilities and resources have been spread across organizations and management regimes, slowing progress on the problem. Improvements will require changes to the regulatory regime as well as nonregulatory incentives. At both the international and the national levels, there needs to be better leaderÂ ship, coordination, and integration of mandates and resources. Overarching Recommendation: The United States and the internaÂ tional maritime community should adopt a goal of zero discharge of waste into the marine environment. The United States should take the lead in the international arena in this effort and in coordinatÂ ing regional management of marine debris with other coastal states. IMDCC should develop a strategic plan for domestic marine debris management. Performance measures should be developed by the United States and the international maritime community that allow for assessment of the effectiveness of current and future marine debris prevention and reduction measures. Overarching Finding: The lack of understanding of vessel waste streams and the inadequacy of port reception facilities to accept and properly manage vessel waste is a serious impediment to the prevenÂ tion and reduction of marine debris, including DFG. Ships continue to face shoreside disposal challenges at some berths in countries that have formally communicated the availability of adequate reception facilities. Overarching Recommendation: To achieve the goal of zero discharge, ships need to be able to discharge their waste at ports and should
MEASURES TO PREVENT AND REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS AND ITS IMPACTS 87 have incentives (or at least they should not face disincentives) to do so. Domestically, USCG should â¢ establish minimum qualitative and quantitative standards for port adequacy, â¢ provide technical assistance for ports to achieve standards, â¢ encourage ports to provide incentives to vessel operators for disÂ charging their waste ashore, and â¢ ensure that there are adequate reception facilities and alternative disposal options (see Appendix E) for waste fishing gear. Internationally, the U.S. delegation to IMO should exert its leaderÂ ship in the ongoing MARPOL Annex V review process to ensure that similar amendments are incorporated into Annex V.