Ships in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea will be barred from dumping their garbage overboard after July 1992.
"Consistent pressure and timely diplomacy have paid off," Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, said Wednesday. "We now have international agreement to stop solid waste dumping in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean by July 1992."Bentsen released a letter from the Coast Guard commandant, Adm. J.W. Kime, detailing the process of designating the gulf and the Caribbean as a special area where solid waste is banned.
Last November, the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization adopted the U.S. proposal to designate the region a special area. Kime said formal adoption of the area is expected at the committee's 31st session in July, with full designation occurring 12 months later.
Kime said nations of the region must now begin efforts to equip their ports with facilities to accept ships' garbage.
Bentsen's office said the State Department reported that the International Maritime Organization and the World Bank have agreed on funding for a study of garbage reception facilities in the region and that a contract is about to be let.
Kime said the Coast Guard has also just completed a survey of U.S. reception facilities "to ensure that we are not vulnerable to allegations of shortfalls at our ports."