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April 8, 2002

LR warns: Coast Guard cracking down on MARPOL compliance
In an inspertion alert issued last week, Lloyd's Register warns shipowners trading in U.S waters that, addition to routine port state control inspections, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is focusing heavily on the proper usage of the oily water separator.

The agency is reviewing all oil record books, log books and other ships’ documents to establish whether proper documentation has been maintained and whether false entries are being made, especially in the oil record book.

More specifically, current inspections now routinely include checks on:

1)  Any discrepancies between the deck log and the oil record logs in regard to any discharges noted in the oil record book.

2)  Any discrepancies between the amount of water pumped overboard after going through the oily water separator and the amount that the pumps could physically pump overboard during the same period, i.e., whether the amount shown in the oil record book is greater than the pump capacity.

3)  Whether discharges from sludge tanks to shoreside facilities or barges exceeds the pumping capacity of the vessel during the period the sludge oil was being discharged.

The Lloyd's Register alert says that In the most serious cases the Coast Guard has insisted that the pipeline leading from the oily water separator to the ship's side be removed for closer internal inspection. Requests have also been made to make the overboard sea valve available for examination and owners have in some instances been required to use divers to secure the valve externally, so that it can be removed.

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