OIL DISCHARGE CONTROL DATE PUSHED BACK BY COAST GUARD

OIL DISCHARGE CONTROL DATE PUSHED BACK BY COAST GUARD

The Coast Guard has granted tanker operators until next July to help them meet tougher standards for controlling the oily water and oil residue their ships discharge into the oceans.

Tankers discharge oily water and residue as a result of flushing and rinsing their cargo tanks.A resolution adopted in 1992 by the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee established more stringent criteria for controlling the discharges, effective this July. It requires discharges to be cut in half, to 30 liters per mile from the previous standard of 60 liters.

Tanker operators protested at a meeting this summer of the Marine Environment Protection Committee. They said their efforts to meet the new standards were stymied due to the inability of manufacturers of oil discharge control and monitoring devices to keep up with demand to upgrade ships.

The Coast Guard said in a Nov. 12 Federal Register notice that tankers must be equipped to meet the lower discharge rate by July 6, 1994. It urged shipowners to install the required equipment as soon as possible and instructed owners not able to comply at present to contact the Coast Guard marine inspection officer who issued their vessel's International Oil Pollution Prevention certification.

More oil is cast into the ocean from landside sources and ship operations than from a much more notorious cause, oil spills, said Coast Guard officials and environmentalists.

A report from Worldwatch Institute says that oil from automobiles, heavy

machinery and industry that drains into the sea in coastal areas, and oil from tanker and other shipping operations, together account for about 78 percent of the oil dumped into the world's oceans.