Kathy Metcalf’s Letter to the Chamber of Shipping of American Members

As noted in Kathy Metcalf’s letter to the Chamber of Shipping of American members, there was a side meeting at the United Nations at which maritime industry and conservationists met with UN delegates and aides to discuss the intersection between shipping and whales.  While the topic of ship strikes and aquatic noise dominated the discussion, this was balanced by a recognition of the role shipping plays in global society and the steps being taken to mitigate shipping’s impact on the marine environment.

NAMEPA Chairman Joe Hughes and I were at this event, and were struck by the intentionality of the meeting from the conservation side.  This is an important issue for them, which, as Kathy indicates, may result in further work on the topics and a push for shipping (through the IMO) to modify its operations.  We need to be prepared.

Carleen

 

 

 

In preparation for the United Nations Oceans Conference set for 5-9 June 2017 in New York, a number of preparatory committees and side events are being conducted.  On February 15, 2017, a side event was held at the UN, sponsored jointly by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS),  the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Government of France.  The event was titled "At the crossroads: Global Shipping Lanes and Whale Conservation".  The event was keynoted by H.E. Peter Thomson, the President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly and was attended by a number of governments, evidencing the high visibility of this issue to the UN community.  A large portion of the side event was focused on a panel facilitated by Dr. Greg Silber from NOAA with whom CSA has worked a number of years on ship strike issues.   CSA was asked to participate on this panel as a representative of the shipping industry.  Additional participants included a representative from IMO and three others from the scientific community.  The panel focused on two specific issues - commercial ship strikes of whales and the impacts of commercial shipping noise on living marine resources.

With this summary of the event in mind, the purpose of this email is to alert the shipping industry that, from my perspective, the issues of ship strikes and commercial shipping noise are gaining significant momentum at the UN, likely pushed by a number of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who clearly have the ear of certain governments at the UN.  Future developments at the UN as well as potentially at IMO advise for a close watch on these issues at all levels of the UN system.

As a representative of the shipping industry, two fundamental points were made.  First, any additional initiatives to regulate shipping must be the responsibility of the IMO and not other UN organizations focused on resource protection and conservation.  The second point emphasized is the lack of data and impacts analysis regarding shipping and living marine resources, both temporally and spatially, and before any new initiatives on additional regulation of shipping are even begun, this lack of data and impacts analysis must be correctedbefore any intelligent decisions can be made in the future.

From my perspective, I believe it is the intent of the sponsors of this event to include ship strikes and commercial shipping noise as one of the Call for Action items that are agreed at the upcoming UN Oceans Conference.  What such a decision would mean for future actions, particularly at IMO, remains to be seen.  It is clear that a number of the environmental NGOs will push further action on these issues including mandatory controls on global shipping e.g. speed restrictions and the establishment of global shipping lanes.  While it is clear what the industry's position on these types of proposals would be, it is important that the industry be prepared to confront these proposals head on when they arise in whatever forum.

Regards,
Kathy

NAMEPA's Houston Conference Focuses on Solutions

North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is holding its Environmental Intelligence in Shipping Conference “Focusing on Solutions- the role of CSR and Profitability” on Feb. 23, 2017 at the Houston Pilots Center in Deer Park, Texas from 0800 to 1700hrs. Hosted by the Houston Pilots, this conference is designed to help companies understand the social license to operate in today’s marine environment, and the steps needed to be effective and profitable...Continue Reading Here.

So I work at the EPA and yeah it's as bad as you are hearing:

So I work at the EPA and yeah it's as bad as you are hearing:
The entire agency is under lockdown, the website, facebook, twitter, you name it is static and can't be updated. All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled.
Any Press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office which is also silenced and will give no response. All grants and contracts are frozen from the contractors working on Superfund sites to grad school students working on their thesis. We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon. But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now. We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration's policy.

Preserving Natural Resources for All Americans

Nov. 17, 2016 -- NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) works with federal, state, and local agencies to prepare for, respond to, and assess the risks to natural resources following oil spills and hazardous waste releases. Often, OR&R also collaborates with Native American tribes to ensure that response, ssessment, and restoration efforts fully address the needs of all communities...Continue Reading Here. 

The Story of Malcolm McLean

The New York Times has released a video on Malcolm McLean, the former North Carolina truck driver who invented the shipping container.

It’s a story that is also taken up in the Gard Guidance on Freight Containers by Jeroen de Haas.

The concept of an intermodal container was first proposed by McLean. His “big box” idea, which has revolutionized cargo handling worldwide, came to him in 1937 while he waited most of the day to deliver cotton bales on his truck to a pier in New Jersey...Continue Reading Here. 

FIRST CARBON ACCOUNTING METHOD LAUNCHED FOR GLOBAL LOGISTICS SUPPLY CHAIN

A universal method to calculate the carbon footprint of the logistics supply chain was released today by the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), a group of companies, industry associations and programs, and backed by leading experts and other stakeholders.

“For the first time, emissions can be calculated consistently at a global level covering road, rail, inland waterways, sea, air and transhipment centers,” said Sophie Punte, Executive Director of Smart Freight Centre (SFC), a global non-profit organization that leads the GLEC...Continue Reading

Looking Back: An Early Trial of Marine Scrubbers

Back in 2009, the 2015 Emission Control Areas established in IMO Annex VI seemed a long way off to many in the marine and emission control industry. Belco Technologies Corporation (BELCO), a DuPont company, anticipated the marine industry’s imminent need for reliable emission control solutions to meet the upcoming regulations. BELCO re-engineered its proven, land-based refinery wet scrubber technology for marine service. The company had over 40 years of experience removing sulfur oxides and particulates from various industrial processes...Continue Reading Here. 

Looking Back: An Early Trial of Marine Scrubbers

Back in 2009, the 2015 Emission Control Areas established in IMO Annex VI seemed a long way off to many in the marine and emission control industry. Belco Technologies Corporation (BELCO), a DuPont company, anticipated the marine industry’s imminent need for reliable emission control solutions to meet the upcoming regulations. BELCO re-engineered its proven, land-based refinery wet scrubber technology for marine service. The company had over 40 years of experience removing sulfur oxides and particulates from various industrial processes...Continue Reading Here.

Today, the National Ocean Council is releasing the Nation’s first ocean plans—a historic collaboration among states, tribes, Federal agencies, and ocean stakeholders.

Today, the National Ocean Council (NOC) finalized the Nation’s first ocean plans, taking a historic step toward fulfilling President Obama’s commitment to healthy ocean ecosystems and a strong, sustainable marine economy. The two regional plans, the Northeast Ocean Plan and the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan, promote the use of integrated ocean data and best practices for informed and efficient management of the Nation’s shared marine resources. This approach is designed to work across all levels of government and to advance economic, environmental, and cultural priorities within each region. In addition to years of historic collaboration among states, tribes, Federal agencies, and Fishery Management Councils, the Plans are a result of extensive participation and input from marine stakeholders representing fishing, recreation, energy, transportation, telecommunications, and many other interests...Continue Reading Here. 

New prediction tool warns ships of blue whale hotspots

The largest animal on the planet, the endangered blue whale, often shares its habitat with busy shipping lanes. In the Pacific Ocean, they feed on krill in the California Current, which often overlaps with shipping lanes between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This leads to a number of ship and whale collisions every year that harm the population of gentle giants...Continue Reading Here. 

More Stock Exchanges Introduce Sustainability Reporting

As many as 21 more of the world's stock exchanges could introduce sustainability reporting standards before the end of the year, bringing the total number to 38, an UNCTAD official said.
 
Seventeen stock exchanges already recommend their listed companies to report on environmental, social, and governance issues, but James Zhan, Director of the Division on Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD, which co-organizes the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, said that 23 stock exchanges had committed to introduce new standards on sustainability reporting in 2016...Continue Reading Here. 
  

Raising the Stakes

 In the not-so-distant future the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release its latest draft vessel general permit (VGP), sometimes known as VGP 3.0. The draft will be the agency’s latest permutation in an ongoing effort to regulate discharges from vessels, most notably ballast water discharges, which are considered a major source of invasive species...Continue Reading Here.