One of the main causes of the deterioration suffered in the marine environment is the waste, consisting of oily mixtures, dirty water, rubbish and cargo waste, produced by ships in their daily activity. In recent years, in order to prevent the constant degradation of the marine environment, different international agreements have been negotiated thanks to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The main objective of what is known as the MARPOL 73/78 Agreement, in force at present, is to achieve the complete elimination of intentional marine environment pollution by hydrocarbons and other harmful substances, and to reduce the accidental discharging of such substances.
This Agreement, ratified by the Spanish Government, obliges vessels berthing in Spanish State Ports to be supervised to ensure that they comply with the norms of the Agreement by setting out its scope and application, the prevention measures to be adopted by vessels in their waste management and the facilities the subscribing Spanish ports must be equipped with for the reception and treatment of this waste.
The Port Authority of Bilbao, in compliance with the regulation currently in force, (Royal Decree 1381/2002 of 20 December 2002, pertaining to port facilities for the reception of vessel- and cargo-generated waste, modified by Ministry of Economic Development Order/1392/2004, of 13 May 2004 and by Royal Decree 1084/2009), carries out the management of MARPOL waste through a company contracted by tender and authorised by the government. It has its reception and treatment facilities in the Port of Bilbao.
The company authorised to collect waste under Annexes I (Type B and C), IV, V and VI is Limpiezas Nervión, S.A.
The Tepsa and Acideka terminals are authorised to collect possible waste under Annex II related to usual traffic under an agreement with the entity FCC Ámbito, S.A.
MARPOL 73/78 Agreement
Annex I. – Deals with preventing pollution from hydrocarbons
Annex II. – Deals with preventing pollution from noxious liquid bulks substances
Annex IV. – Deals with preventing pollution from sewage
Annex V. – Deals with preventing pollution from garbage and solid waste
Annex VI. – Deals with preventing air pollution from ships