Thordon Expresses Concern Over New VIDA Proposals

Thordon’s seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system eliminates oil pollution from the ocean and waterways (Image: Thordon Bearings)

Thordon’s salt water lubed prop shaft bearing system gets rid of oil contamination from the sea and also rivers (Image: Thordon Bearings)

Thordon Bearings has actually included in the expanding worry over recommended modifications to Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance (VIDA) demands, pointing out much getting to ecological effects if conditions in the existing file are gotten rid of.

In a declaration sent to the UNITED STATE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 20, 2020, the Canada- based bearings and also seals leader “strongly questions the removal of some text” in the recommended modifications, mentioning that such noninclusions will certainly indicate existing no contamination options will certainly be neglected.

In the existing Vessel General Permit (VGP 2013), the United States EPA advises that all newbuild vessel drivers strive to utilize seawater-based systems for their demanding tube lubrication to stop the discharge of oil from these user interfaces to the aquatic atmosphere. But in the modified VIDA draft there is no reference of salt water as an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant (EAL).

“It mentions composite bearings but does not state that the composite bearings must be lubricated by seawater to eliminate all risk of pollution,” stated Craig Carter, Director of Marketing and also Customer Service, Thordon Bearings.

Calling for a 60-day expansion to the duration in which stakeholders can talk about the propositions, Thordon states in the letter: “The omission of this text from the VIDA proposal minimizes the fact that a current in-use and proven zero pollution solution that has no impact on our seas and oceans is likely to be overlooked by vessel operators if it does not appear in the new VIDA.

“For vessel operators using seawater as a stern tube lubricant, there is absolutely zero impact on the ocean and sea environment, as there is no oil or synthetic EAL used. We firmly believe that the recommendation from the U.S. EPA stated in the VGP 2013, to use the only lubricant that has no impact on the environment and is currently in use in thousands of vessels, is an incredibly powerful statement to eliminate stern tube oil pollution from ships navigating US waters.

“Why would the EPA want to remove such a statement from the 2013 VGP that encourages new ships to be built using seawater lubrication, whereby the impact can eliminate this ship source of oil pollution forever? This omission from the Oil Management section would be deemed as going backward, rather than forward.”

The noninclusion is not the only problem with the recommended modifications, Thordon Bearings stated. A significant worry is the complication bordering air-type shaft seals, it included.

On web page 56 of the recommended draft, it specifies “during normal operation, small quantities of lubricant oil in these interfaces are released into surrounding waters.” But 3 web pages later on: “To the extent that these seals do not allow the lubricant to be released under normal circumstances they are not considered to be oil-to-sea interfaces.”

“These statements do not take into account seal failure resulting from rope or fishing lines becoming entangled around the propeller shaft. The aft seal damage can be severe, creating an oil-to-sea interface enabling synthetic lubricant/oil to flow freely out into the ocean. The confusion could also result in ship operators using mineral oil in an air seal, which is worse than an EAL discharge.”

Thordon additionally questioned regarding the hazardous effect that synthetic/vegetable EALs might carry marine life, recommending that even more study requires to be done on their ecological effect prior to their usage can be authorized as an EAL.

At the moment of composing, www.regulations.gov, the United States federal government site utilized for public discourse on brand-new and also existing guidelines, had actually obtained 179 discuss the recommended VIDA modifications.

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