Avoid these large USCG Penalties for INAPPROPRIATE O.B. DISCHARGE
8 May 2009
The PSM ClearView(tm) Overboard Discharge Monitoring Equipment is the first USCG accepted remote watchdog to be installed on a vessel in mitigation of offences under Marpol 73/78 marine pollution. With many ships illegally discharging waste oil the 18 countries including US, Japan are signing up to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to onerously enforce Marpol pollution regulations.Generally the current level of overboard discharge monitoring equipment focuses only on the Oil content (PPM) and status of the discharge valve and does not therefore prevent the wilful bypassing of the OIL-WATER SEPARATOR system or "Magic Pipe" syndrome, as it has become known.
This practice has led to penalties for first time offenders that include custodial sentencing of senior officers and fines of many millions of Dollars. Violation of MARPOL I alone has accounted for 17 years of incarceration of senior shipboard officers, engineers and the responsible shore-side managers, plus, over $200million of corporate fines since 1998. Now they say they plan to get tough! Avoidance of detection is not an option. Satellite photography and spectrographics easily spots offenders and the summons can be issued before the vessel docks in port. USCG in particular have declared that proceedings will commence even based upon suspicion of an event taking place, or where the Oil Record Book (ORB) appears to have been falsified. Ships and operators will need to have clear proof of innocence.
Clearly, owners and operators should be looking to protect against events that could bring about this outcome. With the current levels of vessel monitoring it is a situation over which, they have little control since they are entirely remote from the events. Even where the vessel is fitted with an interlock alarm system linking the PPM monitor, & 3-WAY valve there are many ways in which an "unseen" illegal discharge can occur, and be incorrectly recorded in the ORB.
When PSM were commissioned to find a practical but economic solution to the problem it took a different approach to the more obvious direction of "padlocking" the valves and logging the primary signals. PSM's resulting ClearView (tm) represents an entirely new look to the problem and one that has readily been given the "thumbs-up" by USCG as the most comprehensive solution to emerge. Whereas, nearly all systems currently available only monitor and log the small number of signals relevant to the proprietor's main equipment, such as the separator system or PPM monitor, Clearview monitors and compares a much wider range of parameters that can include status of all Bilge Wells, Bilge Holding tanks, Sludge / Sludge separator tanks, Dirty Oil tanks, Incinerator status and operation, as well as the normal PPM value and valve status. PSM argue that unless all interrelated functions are compared in this way it will always be possible for the magic pipe players to bypass the system.
By continuously collecting and processing data from all of the elements of the separator/discharge process, a pattern of good practice is inviolately logged, similar to a VDR. Data is held for several years and may be printed out in a fully trended profile in support of or in place of, the ORB. Data may also be simply copied onto a USB stick for later or third party review.
Although it is the intention of the MOU that any logging device fitted is simply there to rigorously police the operation, Clearview provides the crew with a more friendly and helpful policeman. For example, the crew have a continuous overview of the entire bilge, separator and discharge process. Since ClearView continuously monitors and compares ALL relevant inputs, the crew and bridge are further assisted by alarm conditions and advance warnings that can indicate irregularities or illogical conditions as well as equipment or critical failures. Incidents of accidental spillage or unforeseen circumstances are significantly reduced or eradicated.
However the real benefit to the owner maybe ClearView's unique satellite communication links. It is in this respect that PSM believe they offer operators real comfort and peace of mind. Clearview can be used as a stand-alone device but it comes with fully embedded software enabling it to transmit real-time self-initiated critical alarm data to the owners or operator's remote location via D+ , hence providing operators real-time warnings of critical alarms or inappropriate system operation. In conjunction with Transas Marine Systems Ltd, these critical alarm messages can be real-time transmitted via SMS / email to the owner/operator's desktop or mobile phone.
When linked to a D+ all log events are automatically GPS and UTC stamped and to add further reassurance Clearview can automatically "geofence" owner selected areas, disabling the discharge valve within territory limits and no-go zones. If required all routine activity logs can also be routed through the regular Ships Satellite communication system at owner defined intervals to the Transas Fleetview
ClearView (tm) can be simply fitted to existing and new buildings and can be installed alongside during normal operations. It is supplied as a split architecture allowing the signal marshalling panel and system display to be positioned to minimise cabling and optimise usability. Wiring is minimal, requiring only
two-core cables simply run to existing instruments and components. If any compulsory items are not already fitted PSM has a comprehensive range of type approved sensors available.
ClearView (tm) is based upon PSM's well known Tankview data acquisition system and can be readily expanded to monitor any other shipboard parameter that the owner may like to include, such as; fuel, oil and ballast tanks for example.
For further information, please contact:
PSM Instrumentation Limited, Burrell Road, Haywards Heath W Sussex UK RH16 1TW
Tel: +44 (0) 1444 410040 7 Fax: +44 (0) 1444 410121
Email: email@example.com Web: www.psm-sensors.co.uk