Marad will study the safety, economic and environmental issues of vessels to be constructed with double hulls.
Following the Exxon Valdez disaster, the passing of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) led to the requirement to replace single hull petroleum tankers with double hull tank vessels sailing in U.S. waters. This requirement was soon adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and became a worldwide regulation. This means that, today, tank vessels worldwide are carrying thousands of extra tons of steel in order to meet the double hull requirements.
Though these double hulls reduce the threat of oil pollution as a result of grounding, they significantly increase the amount of energy needed to propel a vessel and increase the amount of air pollution into the atmosphere. As a result, the maritime industry’s carbon footprint and criteria pollutant emissions are increased.
In addition to the need to burn more fuel, it is acknowledged that double hulls can cause several other problems which will be detailed in this study.
For more info visit www.fbo.gov
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 10, 2012