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Suggested Citation:"THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 191
Suggested Citation:"THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 192
Suggested Citation:"THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 193
Suggested Citation:"THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 194
Suggested Citation:"THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
Page 195

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OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 191 7 Overarching Issues Affecting Annex V Implementation The preceding chapter established that leadership is critical to successful Annex V education and training. In fact, strong national leadership is essential for the entire Annex V implementation program, whether it involves developing and deploying on-board technology, assuring the adequacy and use of port reception facilities, informing vessel crews and passengers about compliance methods, or enforcing the law. This chapter examines why leadership is so important and suggests how it might be provided. Following an analysis of the need for leadership, the chapter explores two broad and significant compliance challenges that demand leadership—U.S. enforcement of Annex V at sea, and issues related to the Wider Caribbean special area. These problems are considered overarching because they are relevant to all fleets, strong national leadership will be required to resolve them, and international considerations are involved. They axe also interrelated, in that coordination of enforcement is particularly problematic in the Wider Caribbean special area. Options for addressing these problems are outlined. THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP As noted throughout this report, many federal agencies have become involved in implementation of Annex V, yet there is no lead agency for the overall effort. Furthermore, many steps that could be taken to improve implementation would require the cooperation of two or more agencies. For example, development of nationwide standards, regulations, rules, or information networks might be of great benefit, but no agency has broad enough capabilities to tackle such

OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 192 projects across all maritime sectors. What is needed, rather than simply regulation and enforcement of existing rules, is a leader that can view Annex V implementation from a broad systems perspective and implement comprehensive and, where necessary, innovative measures to effect change in all relevant areas. Strategically, there are four possible ways to organize Annex V implementation. One is to maintain the status quo, which essentially means each agency will conduct Annex V activities on its own, as budget and mission priorities allow, and there may be some incremental improvements in how vessel garbage is handled. The problems with this approach are documented throughout this report, in terms of missed opportunities to improve Annex V implementation. The second option is for the Congress or the Administration to assign to one agency the formal task of coordinating the entire program. But in the committee's judgment, no single agency has the requisite breadth of expertise, jurisdiction, and resources to assume this responsibility in full. This situation is reflected in Table 7-1, which brings together and summarizes information provided at various points in this report concerning federal activities related to Annex V implementation. As the table shows, no single agency is active in all key areas. Even agencies that are active in many or most areas lack important capabilities and expertise, not to mention the resources to assume additional duties. For example, the Coast Guard clearly has broad capabilities, including the legal authority to enforce Annex V and oversee all other fleets (see chapters 1, 4, and the forthcoming section on enforcement in this chapter), as well as experience with education and training, both for its own fleet and others, including the public (see Chapter 6). However, the Coast Guard's core mission is policing and enforcement, meaning it has neither the funds or the expertise to carry out technology research and development, scientific monitoring of pollution, or comprehensive (i.e., for all levels of all maritime sectors and the public) Annex V educational program development and information and technology exchange. Moreover, the Coast Guard's mission and proficiency concern activities that take place on the water. Thus, even though the agency has the authority to oversee the disposal of vessel garbage in ports, it lacks the knowledge base and resources to replace the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in addressing land-based waste management (see Chapter 5). Because the port side of the vessel garbage management system is a key problem area inhibiting full Annex V implementation, it seems advisable to have experts in land-based waste management—EPA officials—take charge of finding a solution to that aspect of the problem. At the same time, it is clear that EPA cannot assume full leadership in Annex V implementation because its relevant expertise and authority is limited to waste management, environmental monitoring (see Chapter 1), a research fleet consisting of one vessel (see Chapter 2), and some aspects of education and training (see Chapter 6). The EPA has limited contact with mariners, no Annex V enforcement authority, and, while it has expertise in pollution-control equipment, the focus has been on land-based rather than maritime applications. Both the Navy and the

TABLE 7-1 Federal Agency Areas of Authority and/or Expertise Related to Annex V Implementation Key areas Enforces Has own Oversees other Conducts on- Oversees natural Conducts Collects Annex V fleeta fleets in some board tech. resource or Annex V educ. marine debris way R&D waste stream & training info. Agencyb Coast Guard x Milit. All fleets Vessel garbage x (1,2,4,5,6,7) DOS (1,7) x Foreign-flag vessels EPA (1,4,5,6) Res. All land waste x x MARAD (1,5) Trng. Cargo ships x MMS (1,4) Offshore Resource (OCS)c industry Navy (1,2,4,5,6) Milit. x x NOAA/NMFS/ Res. Fishing vessels Resource (fish x x ME RP (1,2,4,6,8) stocks) NPS (1,2,8) Resource (parks) x USDA (1,5,7) Cargo, cruise Quarantine waste ships a Abbreviations stand for military (milit.), research (res.), and training (trng.) fleets. b The numbers in parentheses indicate the chapters (including forthcoming sections of Chapter 7) in which the agency's relevant activities are described. c Outer Continental Shelf. OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 193

OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 194 cruise ship industry have far more experience with on-board garbage treatment technology than does EPA (see Chapter 5). Another possible lead agency might be the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has broad expertise and experience in marine debris education, research, and information exchange (see Chapter 6) and environmental monitoring (see chapters 2 and 8). However, the only fleets over which NOAA can exert control are its own research vessels and, through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), commercial fisheries (see Chapter 4). Most importantly, NOAA lacks authority to enforce Annex V or manage garbage generated by other fleets. None of the other agencies has sufficient breadth of involvement in Annex V-related activities to be a serious candidate for providing comprehensive leadership. The Department of State (DOS) focuses on Annex V enforcement as it relates to foreign-flag vessels (as discussed later in this chapter), on special area designations, and on other international and intergovernmental issues. The Maritime Administration (MARAD), the Minerals Management Service (MMS), and the Navy each are engaged primarily in oversight of single maritime sectors (cargo ships, the offshore industry, and the Navy, respectively), although MARAD and the Navy also have programs dedicated to technology development (see Chapter 5). The National Park Service's sole activity related to Annex V is environmental monitoring (see chapters 2 and 8), while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages the handling of quarantined garbage in the cruise and cargo ship sectors (see Chapter 5). A third option would be to establish an interagency task force, such as the marine debris coordinating committee being formed by EPA. (That committee will address land-based sources of marine debris as well as MARPOL-related issues.) A clear legislative mandate would be required to establish the overview authority of the task force and outline its responsibilities. This concept is attractive in that it would combine all the requisite expertise in a single panel, which could serve as a forum for government-wide information exchange and decision making related to Annex V. But an interagency task force, while it could accomplish much of value, would neither go far enough in assigning leadership (in terms of human and fiscal resources) nor go very far in garnering support from the private sector for Annex V implementation. There would still be divided federal leadership, with no clear line of authority and responsibility, and most likely no resources to accomplish much beyond maintenance or reshuffling of existing programs. The fourth option is to establish a permanent national commission to coordinate all aspects of Annex V implementation. Such a commission would symbolize a commitment to Annex V implementation and demand attention to the problem. The U.S. Congress has established numerous permanent commissions to address other major problems. Examples in marine affairs include the Marine

OVERARCHING ISSUES AFFECTING ANNEX V IMPLEMENTATION 195 Mammal Commission (MMC),1 state and regional marine fisheries commissions, and river basin commissions. Some commissions seek to increase public awareness, advocate resource management, and develop educational materials designed to achieve a specific goal, such as pollution control and protection of living resources. Others provide assistance to states and federal agencies on environmental, natural resource, and conservation issues. Some provide recommendations on policies, public complaints, and directions on various issues of interest to a specific agency. A commission guiding implementation of a single international agreement would be unusual, but federal agencies responsible for Annex V implementation could provide the necessary support. (Indeed, the work of the commission would he assisted by the formation of an interagency task force, described earlier as the third option.) Such an unusual mechanism may be the only way to concentrate on and meet fully the challenges inherent in gaining the cooperation of so many individuals in such diverse maritime sectors. An independent commission would have greater flexibility than would federal agencies or task forces in working with the private sector. A commission not only could marshal the efforts of federal agencies with different missions as well as private organizations, but also could serve as a high-level focal point for U.S. leadership internationally, overseeing the nation's efforts to guide the global community toward increased standards of performance. A commission would be well-positioned to address international issues such as U.S. enforcement of Annex V as it applies to foreign violators, dissemination of Annex V-related information and technology to other nations, and development of innovative programs with neighboring nations. (These issues are examined later in this chapter.) In the committee's judgment, cost probably would not be a barrier to pursuing this option. In fact, establishing a commission likely would cost less than assigning all the tasks it might pursue to individual agencies. This assumption is based on the committee's knowledge of the operating budgets of other commissions, such as the MMC, rather than on a formal cost analysis. A national commission addressing Annex V implementation would require a clear legislative mandate establishing its overview authority and outlining its responsibilities, which could include (1) reviewing information on the sources, amounts, effects, and control of shipborne garbage; (2) providing leadership for federal agencies to assure that they carry out their roles and responsibilities and share relevant information; (3) making recommendations to agencies on actions or policies related to identification and control of sources of shipborne garbage; 1 The MMC was established under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-522). The commission is an independent agency of the Executive Branch charged with developing, reviewing, and making recommendations on the actions and policies of all federal agencies with respect to marine mammal protection and conservation, and with carrying out a research program. Annual appropriations are approximately $1 million.

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Marine debris is a serious environmental problem. To do its part, the United States has agreed to abide by the international treaty for garbage control at sea, known as MARPOL 73/78 Annex V.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans explores the challenge of translating Annex V into workable laws and regulations for all kinds of ships and boats, from cruise ships to fishing crafts and recreational boats. The volume examines how existing resources can be leveraged into a comprehensive strategy for compliance, including integrated waste management systems and effective enforcement.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans describes both progress toward and obstacles to Annex V compliance. The book covers:

  • How shipborne garbage orignates and what happens to garbage discharged into the seas.
  • Effects of discharge on human health, wildlife safety, and aesthetics.
  • Differences in perspective among military, industrial, and recreational seafarers and shoreside facilities.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans will be important to marine policymakers, port administrators, ship operations officers, maritime engineers, and marine ecologists.

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