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Suggested Citation:"National 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.
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Page 9

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 9 for government action were derived from the analyses of each maritime sector, as well as examination of the vessel garbage management system and issues related to education and training, national leadership, Annex V enforcement, special areas, and measuring progress in Annex V implementation. Legislative Actions Improve Management of Vessel Garbage To improve management of vessel garbage and meet U.S. national and international commitments to implement Annex V, the Congress should direct EPA to use its current resources to establish an overall framework that (1) incorporates the vessel garbage management system into the system for managing land-generated waste; (2) requires states to include in their solid waste management plans the disposal of garbage from vessels docked at their ports; (3) establishes technical standards for reception facilities appropriate to each type of port; (4) provides for accountability by requiring commercial ports to issue receipts for garbage discharged at their facilities, and by assuring that states follow up reports of inadequate port reception facilities; and (5) promotes recycling of vessel garbage. The EPA should obtain assistance from the Coast Guard, the states, port and terminal operators, the private sector, and the maritime communities and should make use of the forthcoming IMO manual on reception facilities. National Leadership The Congress should establish a permanent national commission with a clear legislative mandate establishing its authority to oversee the national Annex V and MPPRCA implementation effort. The panel should be modeled on other national commissions, such as the Marine Mammal Commission, established to address major issues of concern. The legislation should outline the commission's responsibilities and authorize funding Sufficient for execution of its duties. The commission should (1) review information on the sources, amounts, effects, and control of vessel garbage; (2) work with federal agencies to assure they carry out their roles and responsibilities and share relevant information; (3) assure that MOUs for Annex V implementation are negotiated and observed; (4) make recommendations to federal agencies on actions or policies related to identification and control of sources of vessel garbage; (5) provide support for research, regulatory, and policy analyses; (6) provide the Congress with periodic reports on the state of the problem, progress in research and management measures, and factors limiting the effectiveness of implementation; (7) oversee an Annex V educational foundation; and (8) oversee international aspects of Annex V implementation.

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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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