The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has initiated evaluation and harmonization of rules and guidance on the discharge of water (including wash water) from scrubbers into the aquatic environment, including a revision of the 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems.
However, due to COVID-19 the work has been stalled and as of June 2021, the discussions have been deferred to the 77th session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee in November 2021.
The current (2015) Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (MEPC.259(68)) include criteria for monitoring and recording levels of: pH, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Turbidity/Suspended Particle Matter, Nitrates, additives and other substances in wash water from open-loop scrubbers.
Furthermore, the guidelines specify that any residues generated by the scrubber should be delivered ashore to the port reception facilities.
The forthcoming revised guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems is expected to also unambiguously define and address bleed-off water from closed-loop or hybrid scrubbers.
While the work at IMO to harmonize the rules for discharge of scrubber wash water has been postponed, an increasing number of local restrictions enacted by countries or ports and terminals are emerging.
BIMCO has therefore updated our list of local restrictions on the discharge of scrubber wash water.
See the complete list here (BIMCO members only) or search for a specific port or country in BIMCO’s port information database.