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