[ti:New Shipping Rules Aim to Reduce Air Pollution, But Could Harm Seas]
[00:02.32]New shipping rules aimed at reducing air pollution will take effect in January 2020.
[00:11.44]The rules, put in place by the International Maritime Organization, or IMO,
[00:19.33]will change the kind of fuel that ships can use.
[00:24.15]Ships, for the most part, will no longer be able to use fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5 percent.
[00:36.44]Current rules permit a sulfur content of around 3.5 percent.
[00:43.84]The IMO's stated goal is to reduce air pollution.
[00:48.73]However, experts and civil society leaders warn that the rules could have a bad side effect.
[00:59.20]Ship crews might dump more sulfur and nitrates into the ocean.
[01:05.88]After January 2020, ships will still be able to use higher-sulfur fuel
[01:13.75]if they have pollution cleaning devices called scrubbers.
[01:19.52]There are two kinds of scrubbers: open-loop scrubbers and closed-loop scrubbers.
[01:28.28]Open-loop scrubbers use water to remove sulfur
[01:33.05]coming through a ship's smokestack and pump the waste into the sea.
[01:40.56]Closed-loop scrubbers keep most of the water used
[01:44.84]in the cleaning process on the ship for disposal later at a port.
[01:51.36]A few countries will ban the use of open-loop scrubbers.
[01:56.36]Singapore and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates are two examples.
[02:02.72]China is also set to extend a ban on scrubber discharge to coastal areas.
[02:10.68]"Were open-looped scrubbers ever a really good idea?"
[02:14.58]Bill Hemmings of the Clean Shipping Coalition asked industry figures
[02:20.69]at the IMO's headquarters in London.
[02:24.96]Years of studies have examined whether open-loop scrubbers
[02:29.90]hurt human and marine life by putting dangerous chemicals into the water.
[02:37.00]The results, so far, have not been clear.
[02:41.43]The IMO has supported further study into the environmental impact of scrubbers.
[02:50.60]"It's a bit of a blind spot, and the optics of it are not great,"
[02:56.08]said Alan Gelder to the Reuters news agency.
[03:00.84]Gelder is vice president of refining at consulting company Wood Mackenzie
[03:07.00]"Though some studies suggest the impact of open-loop scrubbing
[03:12.13]is going to be very small given the great volume of seas,
[03:16.97]which already contain many sulphates, what it's doing is solving air pollution
[03:23.00]by producing a marine pollutant instead."
[03:28.28]The stated aim of the new rules is to improve human health.
[03:33.72]A study last year said that ship pollution with current sulfur levels
[03:39.56]caused about 400,000 premature deaths from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
[03:48.28]The study, which appeared in the journal Nature, also said the pollution
[03:54.36]caused about 14 million cases of childhood asthma every year.
[04:01.16]After 2020, experts think those numbers will fall
[04:06.30]to about 250,000 and 6.4 million, respectively.
[04:14.24]Some people, however, are still doubtful of the new rules.
[04:20.20]One oil trader told the Reuters news agency
[04:24.57]that the "huge changes" might not be as helpful as some might think.
[04:31.64]"In the end you can still buy a piece of kit
[04:35.04]that just dumps it [pollution] in the water," he said.
[04:39.36]I'm John Russell. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM