HELCOM delays NOx proposal
The nine countries surrounding the Baltic Sea have deferred plans to strengthen NOx controls for shipping until at least the summer.
The Helsinki-based Helcom commission on the protection of the Baltic has been discussing the establishment of a NOx emission control area (NECA) under the UN's Marpol convention for several years.
A formal proposal http://www.endseurope.com/25095/helcom-seeks-nox-controls-on-baltic-shipping?referrer=bulletin&DCMP=EMC-ENDS-EUROPE-DAILY?referrer=search was due to be finalised at its annual meeting, which ended today. But delegates were unable to agree some details, a spokesman said. He could not say what the details were. The next meeting at which an agreement could be reached is in June.
A joint communique from the Helcom meeting to be published on Thursday says countries are now taking action on many environmental issues affecting the Baltic. There have been improvements to sewage treatment, the treatment of waste from passenger ships and the capture of manure from farm animals, it says.
In addition, several countries have banned phosphate-based laundry detergents and more than 10% of the Baltic Sea has been designated as a marine protection area, says Helcom.
However, there has been little progress on the threats posed by agricultural run off, fishing and the spread of hazardous substances.
Press release http://www.helcom.fi/press_office/news_helcom/en_GB/HELCOM_32_H_L_segment_outcome/ from Helcom and statement http://www.helcom.fi/press_office/news_helcom/en_GB/Statement_HELCOM32_Exec_Secr/ by executive secretary.
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