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 Home > News & Policies > September 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 5, 2007

Message to the Senate of the United States


I transmit herewith, with a view to receiving advice and consent, the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (the "London Convention"), done in London on November 7, 1996. The Protocol was signed by the United States on March 31, 1998, and it entered into force on March 24, 2006.

The Protocol represents the culmination of a thorough and intensive effort to update and improve the London Convention. The London Convention governs the ocean dumping and incineration at sea of wastes and other matter and was a significant early step in international protection of the marine environment from pollution caused by these activities.

Although the Protocol and the London Convention share many features, the Protocol is designed to protect the marine environment more effectively. The Protocol moves from a structure of listing substances that may not be dumped to a "reverse list" approach, which prohibits ocean dumping of all wastes or other matter, except for a few specified wastes. This approach is combined with detailed criteria for environmental assessment of those materials that may be considered for dumping and potential dumping sites.

The Protocol would be implemented through amendments to the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), which currently covers London Convention obligations. There will not be any substantive changes to existing practices in the United States, and no economic impact is expected from implementation of the Protocol. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification, with the declaration and understanding contained in Articles 3 and 10 respectively in the accompanying report of the Department of State.



September 4, 2007.

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