The Ultimate Passport

The International Maritime Organization is expected to adopt the new International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships this month. The Convention will require ships to have an approved and verified inventory of hazardous materials, or Green Passport.

Studies of the soil and groundwater at the Northlake Shipyard in Seattle, Wash., have detected PAHs, PCBs, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc.

I remember when manifests, placards, tracking, GPS, and RFID were new ideas for managing hazardous materials and waste in the trucking industry. I completely missed what happened in aviation, and now the powers that be are holding ships accountable, in more ways than one.

A number of companies, including DNV (Det Norske Veritas), LITEHAUZ, and Lloyd's Register have been working with shippers to inspect, evaluate, and document the materials used in the construction of their vessels, whether they are new or not. When the vessel is sold, the document goes with it and must be updated and maintained until it is ready for decommissioning at the recycling yard.

Some of the companies that have gotten or are initiating work to get Green Passports are Crowley Maritime Corp. of Jacksonville, Fla.; Foss Maritime Co. of Seattle, Wash.; Shell International Trading and Shipping Company of London; and Odfjell Management AS of Bergen, Norway.

Perhaps these efforts will help shipyards transition from being potential Superfund sites. What a concept.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on May 12, 2009

Featured Webinar