Friday, December 14, 2012

Green Ship Recycling Standards


BASEL CONVENTION --- http://www.basel.int/
The Basel Convention is a United Nations (UN) treaty that is aimed at the reduction of hazardous waste, promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, and prevention of hazardous wastes illegal transfer from one state to another. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal was adopted in Basel, Switzerland in March 1989. The Convention came into force on May 1992. There are currently 51 Signatories and 175 Parties. The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) is responsible for the implementation of the Basel Convention. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are international organizations that are deeply engaged in addressing the issue of ship recycling.

What is Basel Convention's main purpose?
The primary purpose of the Basel Convention is to stop or ban industrialized countries from dumping toxic wastes into developing countries.

What are the Basel Convention's aims and objectives:
Click here to view complete list of aims and objectives
http://www.basel.int/TheConvention/Overview/tabid/1271/Default.aspx

Coverage of Basel Convention:
The Basel Convention covers hazardous wastes that are explosive, flammable, poisonous, infectious, corrosive, toxic, or ecotoxic.

Refusal of Export to the Ship Breaking Country:
- All parties are required to provide information about a proposed trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes to the destination countries .
- An exporting country must refuse the export of a ship having hazardous materials if the destination country for ship breaking operations can not manage the hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner.

Which countries are the primary ship breaking destinations?
Ship breaking operations are done primarily in Bangladesh, India, China, Turkey and Pakistan. Why these countries? Primarily because of cheap labour markets and soft/problematic enforcement of environmental protection standards.

Which countries export ships for shipbreaking?
Industrialized European and Western countries.

What are the reasons why Basel Convention is violated?
GRIM reasons.
MONEY - rich countries sell their old garbage ships and don't want to spend money to process obsolete, decommissioned, end-of-life ships. IRRESPONSIBILITY - irresponsibility and neglect for human welfare and environmental protection. RECKLESSNESS - they (violators) just don't care! (except only caring about themselves). GREED - greed for more money, greed for more profit....yeah, don't reason out --- you know you are doing the wrong thing!
If you arrange all the first letters: M, I, R, G ---> it is GRIM spelled backwards............GRIM reasons.

Major negative effects of Basel Convention violations:
- Environmental pollution, Operational accidents, Disease

Primary Responsibility Before Exporting Ships for Shipbreaking:
Pre-cleaning of hazardous wastes is the financial and legal responsibility of the ship owner before exporting ships to Bangladesh, India, China, Turkey, Pakistan, and other developing countries.

Primary NGO Supporter of Basel Convention --- http://www.ban.org/
The Basel Action Network (BAN) is a Seattle-based charitable non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis. BAN is the guardian, defender, and promoter of the Basel Convention and its decisions. BAN opposes the export of toxic wastes, toxic products, and toxic technologies from rich to poorer countries. BAN prevents the rich countries from turning the poorer countries into a dumping ground.

BAN is recognised by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as the leading organization dedicated exclusively to issues regarding trade of toxic substances. BAN is regularly invited as NGO experts and stakeholders in internal meetings and policy deliberations. BAN also worked closely with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other United Nations (UN) mandated environmental protection programs.

BAN advocates Green Shipbreaking. BAN ensures that all hazardous materials from US ships and vessels are properly removed before exporting or domestic processing.

Click here to visit the BAN website:
http://www.ban.org/

The Green Ship Recycling Standard
The purpose of the Green Ship Recycling (GSR) Standard is to establish an environmentally sound management and methodology in shipbreaking and recycling of ships. The main objective of the standard is preventing damage to human health and the environment. The Green Ship Recycling Standard is created by the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking. BAN, Greenpeace, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) formed the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking. The primary focus of the platform is the responsible ship breaking and disposal of ships. Upholding the letter and spirit of the Basel Convention and the Basel Ban Amendment, the NGO Platform's main purpose is to stop the developed (first world) countries from the unlawful dumping of toxic wastes to underdeveloped third world countries. The NGO platform endorses the principles outlined in the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.


REQUIREMENTS & PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DISMANTLING/RECYCLING

Floating or Land-Based Re-use of Ships:
- Green Ship Recycling Facilities (GSRF) should favor re-use of ships over recycling
- GSRF shall promote and assist in the preparation of ships for historic preservation, retrofitting, restoration, refurbishing and repair of ships that have a viable and safe proposition for extended life as a structural ship.
- Alternative uses can include further life as a ship, housing, offices, hotels, museums, conference centers, etc
- Alternative uses are favorable as long as hazardous materials are sealed and made safe from release.

Ocean Dumping/Placement:
Green Ship Recycling Facilities shall not support or be involved in:
- preparing or selling ships and other similar structures for use as artificial reefs
- utilizing ships as artificial reefs
- dumping ships at sea or placing it in the marine environment
- other forms of aquatic dumping or sinking in aquatic environments
- scuttling a ship (deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull)
- sinking ships as targets for military exercises

Legal Requirements, International & National Waste Trade Law:
- A Green Ship Recycling Facility will operate and ensure all business practices are fully consistent and in compliance with national and international waste trade laws.
- A Green Ship Recycling Facility will operate in a manner which will not require other facilities, persons, or other entities to violate any national or international laws.
- A Green Ship Recycling Facility shall abide and comply with the following list of legal instruments:
List of Relevant International and National Waste Trade Agreements:
• Basel Convention
• European Waste Shipment Regulation
• Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Recycling Agreement
• Waigani Treaty
• Izmir Protocol
• Bamako Convention
• Acuerdo Regional sobre Movimiento Transfronterizo de Desechos Peligrosos -- Centroamerica
• Basel Ban Amendment (Decision III/1 of the Basel Convention)
• The Asbestos Regulations (as amended) 1999 (United Kingdom)
• Toxic Substances Control Act (for PCBs import and export) (USA)

International Labor Law:
- GSRF must operate in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations and all applicable international labor laws and guidelines. 

Licensed and Permitted:
- A Green Ship Recycling Facility must have valid applicable licenses and permits for operations including hazardous waste management- Only fully licensed and permitted downstream waste management facilities are allowed.

Waste oils, fuel and sewage:
- Prior to any recycling operations: all waste oils, oily liquids, fuels, and sewage must be completely removed from the ship & managed in accordance with the regulations and guidelines set by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 

Downstream Environmentally Sound Management of Wastes/Materials:
- All Green Ship Recycling Facilites must have access and use of national downstream disposal facilities that can handle, manage, and dispose all hazardous wastes on board vessels including asbestos, toxic metal paints, residual fuels and oils.
- Materials and wastes containing PCBs and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in concentrations above 50 ppm must not be landfilled or otherwise disposed of

Environmental and Health Monitoring:
- Workers in GSR workplaces should be monitored at least once a year. This should include blood and hair sampling.
- Workplace environmental monitoring should be conducted at least once a year. This must include soil sampling, air sampling, and dust sampling for heavy metals, asbestos, and PCBs.

Community Support:
- A wide community support including from local fishermen, residents, and businesses should be obtained before the establishment of a new Green Ship Recycling Facility.

Environmental Management System (EMS):
- Green Ship Recycling Facilities will implement, maintain, and document an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or similarly certified Environmental Management System

Fire Fighting Equipment:
- GSRF must have fire fighting equipment and capability to extinguish all types of fires inside and outside the ships and surrounding premises.

Occupational Safety and Health Responsibility:
- Occupational safety and health (OSH) is the responsibility and duty of the GSRF employer
- Owners of GSRF must periodically assess and identify risks and hazards to health and safety
- Preventive and Protective Measures should be implemented in conformity with ILO guidelines on shipbreaking and other relevant international conventions, regulations, recommendations, and codes of practice.

Personal Protective Equipment:
- Green Ship Recycling Facility owners must freely provide appropriate gloves, boots, coveralls, uniforms, googles, respirators, face shields, hardhats, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees
- Proper use of PPE shall be enforced in accordance with ILO guidelines and OSH standards.

Onsite/Offsite Medical and Emergency Facilities:
- GSR Facilities must possess emergency eye-wash stations, emergency shower stations, and first aid supply & equipment
- During all operations, persons trained in First Aid Procedures must be present at all times
- Hospitals with rapid means of transport and capable of severe injury treatment must be located within 15 kilometers of a GSRF.
- Emergency response vehicles must be able to approach within 25 meters of at least one side of a ship without delay

Green Passport and Ship Recycling Plan:
- Before the Green Recycling Process initiates, two key documents are essential so that the Pre-Cleaning process can be planned and executed prior to the arrival of the ship at the recycling facility.

(a) Ship's Green Passport
- A ship's green passport is the vessel's document that contains the inventory of hazardous materials onboard.
- A Green Passport stays with the ship throughout its lifespan
- The Hazardous Materials Inventory (green passport) is the responsibility of the ship owner

(b) Ship Recycling Plan
- A Ship Recycling Plan is a document prepared by the Ship Recycling Facility during the sale of the vessel

Transboundary Voyage to Annex VII Destinations:
When the final destination of ships containing Basel listed hazardous wastes is an Annex VII country (member of OECD, EU, Liechtenstein), a Green Ship Recycling Facility must perform the following prior to the final voyage of all ships:

1. Full Inventory:
• A full inventory of Basel listed hazardous wastes remaining on the ship must be accomplished
• Inventory of hazardous wastes/materials shall include at a minimum: mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs), lead, cadmium, tributyl tin (TBT), halogens, solvents, asbestos, fuel, radioactive materials, and oils and oily mixtures.

2. Testing and Examination by Licensed Experts:
• All testing and examination must be accomplished by licensed experts in the field to ensure safety and credibility of results.

3. Notification and Consent:
• Article 6 of the Basel Convention describing full notification and consent between competent authorities must be successfully completed.

4. Adherence to Standards:
• Ensure that the receiving facility is a Green Ship Recycling Facility that adheres to the standards.

Transboundary Voyage to Non-Annex VII Destinations:
When the final destination of ships containing Basel listed hazardous wastes is a non-Annex VII country (not OECD/EU/Liechtenstein), the exporting Green Ship Recycling Facility must perform:

1. Pre-cleaning:
- Pre-cleaning of ships in accordance to the standards before sending it to the final disposal destination
- Pre-cleaning is to be carried out by removing all Basel listed hazardous wastes and ensuring safe towing of the ship its final destination.

2. Processing of Hazardous Substances:
- Hazardous substances such as residual fuels, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or toxic metals should be processed according to Basel Technical Guidelines for the environmentally sound management of the full and partial dismantling of ships.

3. Repatriation of Hazardous Wastes:
- Hazardous Wastes that cannot be removed because of resulting unsafe towing must be repatriated to the exporting Annex VII country for final disposition in a government approved disposal or recycling facility.


REQUIREMENTS & PROCEDURE DURING RECYLING

Gas-Free Testing & Certificates:
- Prior to any cutting or dismantling operations onboard a vessel in the GSRF, a ship must be tested for flammability and a Gas-Free for Hot Works certificate must be granted.

Environmentally and Occupationally Sound Management and Responsibility:
- All Shipbreaking and Recycling operations must be conducted in accordance with the Basel Convention Technical Guidelines, ILO Safety and Health in Shipbreaking, IMO guidelines on Ship Recycling, and other relevant guidelines including all applicable local and national laws.
- Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes involves Waste Recovery and Disposal Methods
- Waste Recovery methods involve Regeneration and Reclamation through processes such as Distillation, Thin-Film Evaporation, and Steam Stripping
- Disposal Methods involve processes such as Biological Treatment, Physico-Chemical Treatment, Deep Injection, Specially Engineered Landfill, and Incineration on Land

No Beaching Operations:
- No Green Ship Recycling operations shall take place on tidal beaches
- Tidal Beaches provide unstable and impractical platforms for mechanical lifting devices such as cranes
- Tidal Beaches does not offer good access to emergency response vehicles
- Leaks from oils, residues, and particulate matter falling on tidal beaches are not retrievable

Full Containment & Operational Platform with Drydocks or Graving Docks:
- GSRF operational platforms are required to have impermeable floors where hazardous materials and wastes are handled
- Drydocks or graving docks with impermeable, contrallable and fully contained floored area is required 
- Impermeable Floors provide full containment for loss of liquids or particulate matters (e.g. oils, paint chips, dust)
- Impermeable Floors allow recovery and management of incidental or accidental releases of residues or emissions
- Drydock or Graving dock floors must be washed everyday
- Before flooding, floors must be thoroughly cleaned
- Wastewater shall be managed as hazardous waste because of cleaning agents, particles, and residues
- No part of the ship can be considered as the necessary containment
- Cutting and recycling activities shall not take place directly over water, soil, or sand

Asbestos Remediation and Disposal:
- All forms of asbestos must be removed, isolated and managed as hazardous wastes in downstream disposal facilities in compliance to GSR guidelines (Annex II) and applicable ILO Conventions   
- Asbestos must be managed in accordance with all applicable national and local laws, regulations, and guidelines
- Asbestos in any form must never be reused or recycled
- Asbestos must be disposed of in a secure landfill designed for asbestos without possibility of airborne or other releases.

PCBs Removal and Destruction:
- PCBs in liquid form are found in transformers, capacitors, and fluorescent light ballasts
- PCBs in solid form are found in gaskets, electronic cables, electrical wires, insulation, pliable flooring materials, roofing materials, and in paints.
- PCBs in both solid and liquid forms having concentrations greater than 50 ppm should be treated and managed as hazardous wastes [ 1 mg/1,000,000 mg (solid) or 1 ml/1,000,000 ml (liquid) --> one part in one million = 1 ppm (part per million) ]
- PCBs should be removed and isolated under the conditions and in facilities as described in the Basel Convention and relevant guidelines in the Green Ship Recycling standards document.
- PCBs must never be reused or recycled 
- PCBs will be subject to destruction technologies that destroy the PCB molecule with a total Destruction Efficiency (DE) of 99.9999 percent.

Radioactive Devices:
- Smoke detectors, ionizing smoke alarms, and all other ship equipment containing radioactive materials must be removed, collected, and managed in a designated radioactive waste facility that complies with national and international regulations.

Mercury:
- Mercury is usually found in ship's equipment, instruments, and devices such as electronic switches, relays, binnacles, compasses, thermometers, barometers, and in fluorescent light bulbs
- Mercury should never be released to the environment
- All mercury should be managed as hazardous waste and processed in a facility capable of safely recycling it
- Mercury recycling facilities should have retorts capable of 99.99% recovery.

ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs) / Freon Remediation and Disposal:
- CFCs found in refrigerants, air-conditioning equipment, fire extinguishers, etc. must be properly identified, safely removed and isolated.
- CFCs should never be released to the atmosphere
- Disposal must be implemented through a licensed CFC collector
- Management and Remediation (removal of CFC from environmental media such as soil and water) should be in accordance with MARPOL and Montreal Protocol obligations and guidelines.

Harmful Paints and Plastics:
- Paints and plastics should be tested for halogens and toxic metal contents such as lead, cadmium, and tributyl tin (TBT)
- Paints and plastics with hazardous levels of toxic metals should be processed as hazardous wastes
- Materials containing halogens must be placed in a secure and designated landfill area
- Steel and other metals having paints, coatings, and plastics containing halogens or toxic substances must be sent to smelters with effective pollution control devices and equipment
- Smelters must operate in high temperatures to prevent the release of toxic metals, dioxins, and harmful hydrocarbons

Burning and Incineration:
- Except for dedicated incinerators, no ship material should be burned as they can cause or create harmful emissions
- Only dedicated hazardous wastes incinerators with a 99.9999% destruction efficiency is allowed

Thermal Cutting:
- Thermal cutting, or other thermal operations or devices must not create toxic fumes or smoke
- Thermal operations should not be done near or over all paints, plastics and other materials that causes toxic gases

Toxic or Health Impairing Dusts:
- Grinding, sand blasting, cutting, and other operations that create toxic dusts or unhealthy dusts should be avoided
- If such operations cannot be avoided, appropriate respirators, masks, and protective equipment must be worn to prevent inhalation and eye exposure

Transport of Hazardous Wastes:
- Hazardous wastes for transport should be properly labeled, and packaged in accordance to regulations to prevent spill or release.

Downstream Due Diligence:
- For all operations away from the GSRF, owners must satisfy legal and safety requirements
- Ensure that Safety Measures must be in place to prevent dangers, hazards, and risks
- Third party facilities and brokers must meet applicable standards, must have all the permits and licenses for all waste management operations

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