Criticism of ECA sulphur limit unfounded

The IMO has hit back at industry claims that there was no proper impact assessment done for a 0.10 per cent sulphur limit in emission control areas (ECAs).

"We reject the view that there was no impact assessment of the 0.10 per cent limit," Dr. Edmund Hughes from the IMO's Marine Environment Division told Bunkerworld in November. He pointed out that one of the proposals being considered during the negotiations leading up to the MARPOL Annex VI revision had suggested a 0.10 per cent ECA sulphur limit, and it was therefore among the scenarios being considered by an IMO expert group.

In December 2007, a paper was submitted to MEPC, reporting on the outcome of an "Informal Cross Government/Industry Scientific Group of Experts" that had been established to evaluate the effects of the different fuel options proposed, and the 0.10 per cent sulphur limit was one of the options evaluated.

The broad scope of the expert group was "to review the impact on the environment, on human health and on the shipping and petroleum industries, of applying any of the options identified as possible amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to introduce measures aiming at reducing emissions from ships into the atmosphere."

Dr. Hughes stressed that the revision process was by consensus, and that it was approved, and later adopted, by consensus at the MEPC in October 2008.

Source: Sustainable Shipping News, 23 November 2010

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