In June of this year, the NMA circulated for review new legislation for reduced emissions and discharges and a cleaner environment in the Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord.
The proposal included, among other things, stricter sulfur requirements for the entire area, stricter requirements for NOx emissions, prohibiting the discharge of sewage, regulations on the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems and requirement for an environmental instruction.
Based on the comments received, the NMA has now proposed even stricter requirements in the new legislation.
“The Government wishes to reduce the emissions and discharges from cruise ships. Stricter requirements for ships in the world heritage fjords would be a step in the right direction,” said Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen.
At the end of October, the NMA proposed that fuel being used on ships in the fjords must have a sulfur content of a maximum 0.1% by weight. In addition, the prohibiting of use of exhaust gas cleaning systems in these areas is being proposed, including both open, closed and hybrid systems.
In practice, this means that the use of heavy fuel oil in the world heritage fjords will be banned, and that ships that currently use heavy fuel oil combined with an exhaust gas cleaning system will have to use marine diesel instead when sailing in the fjords, the NMA explained.
“Experience shows that today’s cleaning systems emit visible smoke emissions, and some systems also generate discharges to sea. Even if the visible smoke is partly water vapour, it has a negative impact on people’s experiences of our world heritage fjords,” explained Bjørn Pedersen, NMA’s Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations.
The NMA is also proposing stopping the incineration of waste on board ships in the fjords, which will contribute to reducing the visible smoke emissions.
“We have a particular responsibility for taking care of the fjords inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List,” Pedersen added.
The new proposal also laid down the possibility of exemption from the Tier I NOx requirements to be met by 2020 for ships that can document that they will satisfy the strictest NOx requirements (Tier III) by 2022, ie three years before the deadline.
The NMA has agreed a six week consultation period.