Debate and Direction of Arctic Shipping Policy

The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act(AWPPA), and attendant regulations, were drafted in 1970 and are in need of modernization. Transport Canada is now considering updating the AWPPA to address modern-day concerns. Considerations include:

  • Maintaining the zero discharge provisions under the existing AWPPA regime
  • Allowing discharge at MARPOL levels from approved equipment for oily water and treated sewage
  • Designating the Arctic as an emission control area for stack emissions
  • Determining which speed considerations should be given to Arctic Class ships
  • Extending the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System to year-round operations and maintain the Zone / Date System as guidance
  • Considering forms of garbage disposal that should be allowed on ships operating in Arctic waters, including plasma-arc incineration
  • Considering options for mandatory reporting for ships
  • Updating the AWPPA by adopting IACS Polar Rules
  • Updating the boundaries of the Shipping Safety Control Zones in light of changes in ice conditions over the last 40 years
  • Requiring Ice Navigators on board every ship operating in Canadian Arctic waters