Wei Chen

MEPC 74

MEPC 74 Agrees to Revise MARPOL Annex IV While Non-Conformities Spread

By Wei Chen 2019-05-22 18:41:30

To protect marine water from ships’ sewage discharges is no less important than any other environmental aspirations of the IMO. But its reality is appalling. With overwhelming majority, the MEPC 74 session (May 13-17) agreed to revise MARPOL Annex IV and its associated guidelines as proposed by Norway (MEPC 74/14). The objective is clear. The overall framework of MARPOL Annex IV needs to be reviewed to better ensure that the performance of sewage treatment plants remains satisfactory throughout the lifetime of the...

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Credit: Marine Traffic

Sewage Chlorination Without De-chlorination: A Certified Impossibility

By Wei Chen 2019-03-16 18:56:25

The approval regime has been in the blood of the marine industry. It has served well to safety equipment, but can the same be said when it comes to environmental technologies? An earlier publication suggested far reaching consequence of poorly enforced marine sewage rules. They have has gone beyond poor treatment performance status and started to erode the credibility of the approval regime.  This joint publication explores one of the non-conformity issues in greater detail. The questions are simple:...

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effluent

Call for Action on Sewage Treatment with No-Sludge Production

By Wei Chen 2019-02-09 17:30:11

In late 2018, The Maritime Executive featured an editorial by me, Dr. Wei Chen of Wärtsilä Water Systems, on the subject of pollution by sewage from ships which suggested a widening gap between the marine rules and realities. It also mentioned a number of non-conformity issues associated with some certified sewage treatment plants.  Now, a group of equipment suppliers, independent laboratories, academia, representatives of an environmental NGO and a shipowner, have come together to explore one particular issue regarding...

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file photo

Sewage from Ships – Better Guidelines are Needed

By Wei Chen 2018-11-10 17:56:18

The IMO’s MARPOL Annex IV Convention aims at the “Prevention of pollution by sewage from ships.” Installing an approved sewage treatment plant has been a popular option for ships sailing internationally. The Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) has developed Guidelines on sewage treatment plant effluent standards and performance test specifications. However, in the absence of an effective enforcement regime, the vast majority of the sewage treatment plants installed are “discharging virtually untreated sewage” (MEPC 67/8/1).  To make matters worse, some...

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Sewage sample

Sewage from Ships – Rules and Realities

By Wei Chen 2018-11-03 18:29:37

Sewage pollution control was the first environmental initiative in history. Technologies and regulations for the land-based wastewater industries have been evolving for more than a century, bringing tangible improvements to our aqua environment. The IMO’s MARPOL Annex IV Convention, which aims at achieving the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships, was developed in the 1970s, and entered into force since 2003. It contains a set of regulations prohibiting sewage discharge from ships, unless via an approved sewage treatment plant,...

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