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Tighten Rules For Sewage Discharges Along The Coast in Norway

The new rules in place by March 1, 2020

A new regulation aimed at reducing the discharge of sewage along the Norwegian coast has now been sent out on the right ring. The goal is to have the new rules in place by March 1, 2020.

The proposal will involve a monthly reduction of sewage emissions

On behalf of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate has prepared a proposal for new regulations for the discharge of sewage, which has now been sent out on the right.

The purpose is to prevent the discharge of sewage and contribute to less sewage discharge along the Norwegian coast, especially in inland waters with less electricity and less water exchange

The potential for sewage discharges is great, and the proposal will entail a monthly reduction of sewage emissions and help to protect the environment and health, says Bjørn E. Pedersen, Department Director of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate.

Applicable rules

In Norwegian waters, emission requirements are less stringent than those laid down in the international regulations in MARPOL Annex IV, which say that the limit for sewage emissions is at 12 nautical miles, ie 22 224 meters from land. Furthermore, it is a requirement in MARPOL Annex IV that all vessels covered by the regulations must be equipped with sewage treatment plants, grinding / disinfecting plants and / or collection tanks. For painted and disinfected sewers, the boundary is at three nautical miles.

In Norway, impure sewage can be discharged 300 meters from land along large parts of the coast. This is due to the fact that many municipalities lacked sewage treatment plants when the regulations were introduced, in addition to generally good circulation in the water bodies along the coast.

In Norway, the rules in MARPOL Appendix IV apply only to ships in foreign trade on the lines from Lindesnes to the Swedish border. One now proposes to make emission requirements in MARPOL Annex IV applicable both to ships in international and domestic shipping, throughout the Norwegian waters

Stricter requirements

The proposal is aimed at ships with international certificates, irrespective of year of construction and for passenger ships with “small coastal speed” or less, or “coastal fishing or less” with gross tonnage 400 or more, and which is certified for more than 100 passengers.

This also applies to newbuildings of more than 400 gross tonnes, which have a contract date after March 1, 2020, which are certified for more than 15 people and will operate in the “small coastal” or “coastal fishing” shipping area.

If these vessels are operating at speeds that make it difficult to maintain the geographical boundary, they must have sewage treatment plants or paint and disinfectants. Alternatively, they may have sewage collection tanks on board, which can be delivered to land for emptying. For passenger ships in scheduled shipping in Norway, a phasing in of emission requirements for sewage has been proposed.

Vessels not covered by the new boundary must continue to follow the existing emission limit, which runs 300 meters from mainland and islands.

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