----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:59
Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] " cargo ships to
become biggest air polluters "
How could we possibly change that ?
New study says cargo
ships to become biggest air polluters
KATE JAIMET CANWEST NEWS SERVICES
Hold up a small white card,
one-fifth of its surface covered in little black dots. That's the scientific
test to determine if a ship is breaking Canada's pollution law.
If the smoke from the ship is
blacker than the card, the vessel's owner could be slapped with a whopping
fine of up to $500.
Strange as it seems at a time
when ordinary car-owners are required to have their vehicles tested for a
range of nasty pollutants, the rules governing ships still date from the time
of steam engines and coal-fired boilers.
"Under Transport Canada, there
are air-pollution regulations. However, they are extremely out of date," said
Russ Robinson, a special adviser on transport for Environment Canada. "It was,
and still at the moment is, essentially unregulated worldwide."
In fact, Canada's rules lag
international regulations - which themselves are too permissive. As countries
in Europe and North America tighten up their emissions rules for everything
from chain saws to power plants, the loosely regulated world of international
shipping is emerging as a troublesome source of air pollution.
By 2010, the European Union
estimates sulphur dioxide emissions from ships in European waters will equal
the emissions from cars, trucks, factories, and power plants in Europe
combined. Sulphur dioxide is a lung irritant and a major cause of acid rain.
In Vancouver, a recent study
found sulphur dioxide emissions will rise "due mainly to increased emissions
from marine vessels."
Overall, ships will soon replace
cars and trucks as the main source of smog in the Vancouver area, predicts the
study, Forecast and Backcast of the 2000 Emission Inventory for the Lower
Fraser Valley Airshed 1985-2025
"When you combine the increase
in growth with the lack of large emission-reduction measures, marine vessel
emissions are projected to be a much higher percentage (of total pollution),"
said John Newhook, senior engineer with the Greater Vancouver Regional
Ships that ply international
waters use the cheapest fuel available, low-grade bunker fuel, which is loaded
with pollutants like sulphur.
"You pick up the fuel wherever
it's cheapest, and the cheaper fuel would be the bad stuff;" said Tom Morris,
manager of environmental protection in marine safety with Transport