Vancouver Port bans scrubber wash water discharge

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new restrictions on the discharge of scrubber wash water at the Port of Vancouver came into effect on March 1st,

Under the new guidelines, ships at berth or at anchor within the Port of Vancouver are prohibited from discharging scrubber wash water.

To meet these new requirements, ships must either hold their scrubber wash water on board, switch to low-sulphur fuel, or connect to shore power (available at the Canada Place, Deltaport, and Centerm terminals).

In 2019 the port authority commissioned a third-party study to assess the impacts of scrubber wash water on local ecosystems within the Port of Vancouver. This study found that the discharge of scrubber wash water could result in levels of certain contaminants that exceeded thresholds set for the protection of aquatic life. As a result, in 2021, the port authority advised industry, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders of its intention to implement restrictions on the discharge of scrubber wash water.

In addition to restricting the discharge of scrubber wash water while ships are at berth or at anchor, the port authority plans to implement two additional phases of restrictions on scrubbers at the Port of Vancouver.

The second phase of restrictions will prohibit the discharge of scrubber wash water in all waters within the port authority’s jurisdiction, while the third phase will fully prohibit the use of scrubber systems within the Port of Vancouver.