US Chamber weighs in on MPN decision

The Chamber of Shipping of America has responded to the US Coast Guard’s preliminary decision on the MPN sampling method.

It would prevent shipping companies from utilising one of the most environmentally friendly and practical Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) to date.

The US Chamber said, in a letter released on 8 February, that if this action is affirmed by senior USCG officials, it would have “significant adverse economic impacts on the entire shipping industry.”

As well as adverse economic and environmental impacts throughout the world.

It has requested that the USCG approve the type approval applications for BWMSs that use UV technology to render organisms unable to reproduce, as measured by the MPN method.

The letter, signed by Kathy J Metcalf, president and CEO of Chamber Shipping of America, continued: “This preliminary rejection of the MPN method appears arbitrary and contrary to practice within most, if not all, other IMO member nations.”

The MPN method is widely used throughout the world, and Ms Metcalf explained: “We are not aware of any justification for treating organisms that are 10 to 50 microns in size differently from organisms that are less than 10 microns in size.”

“If the MPN method is valid for testing smaller organisms then it is also valid for testing the larger organisms.”  

The Chamber argues that the US has not approved any BWMS that would meet its standard. Therefore, there is currently no way for shipping companies to comply with both the IMO convention and the USCG’s requirements.

It also referred to comments made in August and December last year about the optimism surrounding the US Coast Guard approving ballast water standards. As well as commenting on the companies being happy with the proactive, environmentally protective action of installing BWMSs that utilise UV technology.

The letter concluded: “If senior USCG officials affirm the preliminary decision to disallow BWMSs that use UV technology measured by the MPB method, it will cause uproar and confusing in the international shipping industry.”


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