Good news: The Port of Vancouver announced they’re enacting a scrubber ban!
Bad news: It’s incredibly weak. As written, the ban exclude the main engine (really?) and only actually bans waste dumping while the ships are at berth and at anchor – even though the majority of scrubber pollution happens while the ship is underway 🙄.
Luckily, that’s not where the story ends – you can improve the proposed scrubber ban by submitting a public comment to the Port of Vancouver.
Tell the Port of Vancouver – the proposed amendment doesn’t go far enough to protect the ocean and port communities from the public health and climate effects of scrubbers.
The port authority is more likely to listen to personal, unique appeals, so as much as you can write from your own experience, the better.
However, If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some points you could include to help shape your appeal:
- Vancouver is the fourth most dumped upon port globally by scrubbers – and this ban isn’t doing much to change that. (Global assessment of washwater here and follow up on Vancouver here).
- The ban exempts main engines, which means that ships like cruise ships (that operate multiple engines) may continue dumping freely by using loopholes. (ICCT’s analysis here)
- Scrubbers are a workaround to clean fuel standards – turning an air pollution problem into an ocean acidification and pollution problem by dumping acid straight into the ocean. (Summary research on scrubbers here and report commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada here)
- We are ages behind our neighbours on preventing scrubber waste dumping. The Port of Seattle has already banned this discharge, and California completely prevents it by requiring use of cleaner fuels. (Link to the Port of Seattle information here and California regulations here)
- The toxins in scrubber wastewater (PAH’s and heavy metals to name a few) accumulate in the marine environment, meaning that what is spilled today will be somewhere in the water or sediment or in marine life until it is removed. These are contaminants of concern for the already endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), and they’re also carcinogenic for humans to consume.(More information on scrubber discharges here and about SRKW here)