Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships Law and Legal Definition

The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) is a U.S. federal law that was enacted to implement the provisions of MARPOL and the annexes to which the U.S is a party. The APPS applies to all U.S. flagged ships all across the globe and to all foreign flagged vessels operating in navigable waters of the United States or while at port under U.S. jurisdiction. The provisions of the APPA are found under 33 USCS §§ 1901.

Regulations needed to implement the APPS are primarily prescribed and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard. The regulatory mechanism established in APPS to implement MARPOL is separate and distinct from the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental laws.

The Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996 amended the Act to require that ships also comply with Annex IV of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

The following is an example of a federal statute discussing a provision of the APPA relating to the ships subject to preventive measures.

33 USCS § 1902. Ships subject to preventive measures

(a) Included vessels. This Act shall apply--

(1) to a ship of United States registry or nationality, or one operated under the authority of the United States, wherever located;

(2) with respect to Annexes I and II to the Convention, to a ship, other than a ship referred to in paragraph (1), while in the navigable waters of the United States;

(3) with respect to the requirements of Annex V to the Convention, to a ship, other than a ship referred to in paragraph (1), while in the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(4) with respect to regulations prescribed under section 6 of this Act [33 USCS § 1905], any port or terminal in the United States; and

(5) with respect to Annex VI to the Convention, and other than with respect to a ship referred to in paragraph (1)--

(A) to a ship that is in a port, shipyard, offshore terminal, or the internal waters of the United States;

(B) to a ship that is bound for, or departing from, a port, shipyard, offshore terminal, or the internal waters of the United States, and is in--

(i) the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) an emission control area designated pursuant to section 4 [33 USCS § 1903]; or

(iii) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment;

(C) to a ship that is entitled to fly the flag of, or operating under the authority of, a party to Annex VI, and is in--

(i) the navigable waters or the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) an emission control area designated under section 4 [33 USCS § 1903]; or

(iii) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment; and

(D) to any other ship, to the extent that, and in the same manner as, such ship may be boarded by the Secretary to implement or enforce any other law of the United States or Annex I, II, or V of the Convention, and is in--

(i) the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

(ii) the navigable waters of the United States;

(iii) an emission control area designated under section 4 [33 USCS § 1903]; or

(iv) any other area that the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary and each State in which any part of the area is located, has designated by order as being an area from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to protection of public health, welfare, or the environment.

(b) Excluded vessels.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), this Act shall not apply to--

(A) a warship, naval auxiliary, or other ship owned or operated by the United States when engaged in noncommercial service; or

(B) any other ship specifically excluded by the MARPOL Protocol or the Antarctic Protocol.

(2)

(A) Notwithstanding any provision of the MARPOL Protocol, and subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the requirements of Annex V to the Convention shall apply as follows:

(i) After December 31, 1993, to all ships referred to in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection other than those owned or operated by the Department of the Navy.

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, after December 31, 1998, to all ships referred to in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection other than submersibles owned or operated by the Department of the Navy.

(iii) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, after December 31, 2008, to all ships referred to in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

(B) This paragraph shall not apply during time of war or a declared national emergency.

(3) With respect to Annex VI the Administrator, or the Secretary, as relevant to their authorities pursuant to this Act, may determine that some or all of the requirements under this Act shall apply to one or more classes of public vessels, except that such a determination by the Administrator shall have no effect unless the head of the Department or agency under which the vessels operate concurs in the determination. This paragraph does not apply during time of war or during a declared national emergency.

(c) Application to other persons. This Act shall apply to all persons to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with Annex VI to the Convention.

(d) Discharges in special areas.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), not later than December 31, 2000, all surface ships owned or operated by the Department of the Navy, and not later than December 31, 2008, all submersibles owned or operated by the Department of the Navy, shall comply with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention.

(2) (A) Subject to subparagraph (B), any ship described in subparagraph (C) may discharge, without regard to the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention, the following non-plastic, non-floating garbage:

(i) A slurry of seawater, paper, cardboard, or food waste that is capable of passing through a screen with openings no larger than 12 millimeters in diameter.

(ii) Metal and glass that have been shredded and bagged so as to ensure negative buoyancy.

(iii) With regard to a submersible, nonplastic garbage that has been compacted and weighted to ensure negative buoyancy.

(B) (i) Garbage described in subparagraph (A)(i) may not be discharged within 3 nautical miles of land.

(ii) Garbage described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of subparagraph (A) may not be discharged within 12 nautical miles of land.

(C) This paragraph applies to any ship that is owned or operated by the Department of the Navy that, as determined by the Secretary of the Navy--

(i) has unique military design, construction, manning, or operating requirements; and

(ii) cannot fully comply with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention because compliance is not technologically feasible or would impair the operations or operational capability of the ship.

(3) (A) Not later than December 31, 2000, the Secretary of the Navy shall prescribe and publish in the Federal Register standards to ensure that each ship described in subparagraph (B) is, to the maximum extent practicable without impairing the operations or operational capabilities of the ship, operated in a manner that is consistent with the special area requirements of Regulation 5 of Annex V to the Convention.

(B) Subparagraph (A) applies to surface ships that are owned or operated by the Department of the Navy that the Secretary plans to decommission during the period beginning on January 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005.

(C) At the same time that the Secretary publishes standards under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a list of the ships covered by subparagraph (B).

(e) Regulations. The Secretary or the Administrator, consistent with section 4 [33 USCS § 1903] of this Act, shall prescribe regulations applicable to the ships of a country not a party to the MARPOL Protocol (or the applicable Annex), including regulations conforming to and giving effect to the requirements of Annex V and Annex VI as they apply under subsection (a) of this section, to ensure that their treatment is not more favorable than that accorded ships to parties to the MARPOL Protocol.