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Suggested Citation:"Control." 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 100

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ELEMENTS OF AN IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY 100 Garbage transactions seldom are recorded by ports. Waste haulers may record the weight or volume of discards, but this information is not logged in a consistent manner and it may reflect the total volume in the hauler's container rather than a specific ship's garbage. Data on quarantined waste are sometimes available, but they reflect numbers of containers rather than weight of the garbage, and APHIS inspectors do not monitor off-loading of all of this waste. Furthermore, there is no way to determine what proportion of the waste stream APHIS garbage constitutes. The COA regime does not require any tally of garbage. Control The potential for federal control over this sector is significant, in that the Coast Guard determines the professional qualifications of U.S. mariners, monitors vessel construction and operation, and has authority to board or inspect all vessels in U.S. waters to assure safety and environmental protection. The Coast Guard can discipline mariners either through fines or by suspending or removing their licenses. In practice, however, control is inconsistent. Some fleets are managed centrally and effectively by their operators and flag states, while others are under little or no control. Most of the cargo ships entering U.S. ports fly a foreign flag, a factor that has hindered enforcement of Annex V. U.S. port state authorities under international law provide a basis for enforcing Annex V but are not unlimited (see Appendix C for a discussion of these authorities). Recently, however, the Coast Guard decided to change the way it exercises port state enforcement authorities so that direct U.S. action would be taken against increased numbers of foreign-flag vessels that violate MARPOL, and fewer cases would be referred to flag states (see Chapter 7). Proposed amendments to the Marine Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA) would provide for even greater federal control in this sector by allowing the requirement for garbage logs to be extended to foreign-flag vessels that make U.S. port calls. Another potential source of control in this sector would be an international requirement that flag states issue certificates confirming that a ship's waste management system meets or exceeds some minimum criteria. This approach, which would have to be instituted through IMO, would be analogous to the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate issued to confirm that a ship has been surveyed and that its structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements, and materials comply with requirements of MARPOL Annex I. (Annex I requires such surveys.) A waste management certificate could be issued or renewed based on an audit of a ship by either the flag state or a classification society.6 Failure to 6 Classification societies establish standards, guidelines, and rules for the design, construction, and survey of ships.

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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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