There is nowhere to go, the oily sewage on the ship "flows and pollutes" the mother river

Yangtze River Ship: Accumulate more and more, approaching the red line of stock. Receiving companies: Receiving as many losses as possible, dare not accept

  The reporter discovered that the oily sewage was directly discharged on a ship. In the picture, you can see that there is a pump and hose deep into the bilge oily sewage.

Photo by reporter Dong Xue

  Oily sewage, domestic garbage, and domestic sewage are the three major pollutants on the Yangtze River ships. Among them, the waste mineral oil contained in the oily sewage is hazardous waste and has the most pollution.

Some experts said that waste mineral oil contains olefins, benzene series, phenols and other toxic substances. One liter of waste mineral oil can pollute 1 million liters of water.

  Xinhua Daily Telegraph reporters recently visited many places along the river and found that due to the serious shortage of disposal capacity, the oily sewage on the Yangtze River's ships has become an unstoppable pollution hazard. The oily sewage on the ships has accumulated more and more and is approaching the red line of stock. However, the unit "does not want to accept it, dare not accept it." Under heavy fines by law enforcement agencies, typical cases of oily sewage being discharged directly into the Yangtze River are still being discovered from time to time.

Ship oil sewage has become a "hot potato"

  "In the past, oily sewage was "sweet and pastry", and ship pollutants receiving companies rushed to ask for it, but now it has become a "hot potato", and they don't want to collect it anywhere." said a person in charge of a ship running in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

  The reporter recently visited many places along the Yangtze River, and some people in charge of the Yangtze River vessels reported that the tanks for storing waste mineral oil on the ships were full, and the oily sewage in the cabins was also approaching the stock red line, and they were eager to find someone to receive them.

  According to the person in charge and crew of a number of ship pollutants receiving companies, they are unwilling to accept and dare not accept it, which is a common situation faced by ships on the Yangtze River.

  ——Unwilling to accept, the more you collect, the more you lose.

“In the past, there were small companies that specialized in recycling oily wastewater. Oily wastewater can be sold for money. The higher the oil content, the more valuable it is. But now the situation has changed. The cost of disposal of oily wastewater per ton is more than 3,000 yuan, not counting freight and labor." A person in charge of a downstream ship pollutant receiving company said, “We have a lot of oily sewage stored and undisposed, and we dare not collect it anymore. How much is lost!”

  -Dare to accept it, for fear of taking criminal risks.

Waste mineral oil is a hazardous waste. Once it is received, transferred, or disposed of improperly, it will bear the risk of criminal offenses.

The reporter learned during the interview that in order to avoid risks, some pollutant receiving companies simply did not do oily wastewater business, and some would fill in the oily wastewater receiving form with an extremely unreasonable amount of "0.01 cubic meters." The small number does not constitute a crime."

  Lu Zhaohui, director of the maritime affairs department of Chongqing Port and Maritime Affairs Center, said that according to the requirements of ship inspection regulations, ships with a main engine power of 22kw or more are equipped with oil-water separation equipment and discharge up to the standard. The separated waste oil will be transferred and disposed by the receiving unit.

Chongqing has only 10 units with waste mineral oil disposal qualifications. The cost of remote collection and transportation services is relatively high, and the cost of innocuous treatment of waste mineral oil is also high. As a result, the comprehensive cost of ship waste oil disposal is as high as RMB 8,000 per ton. Far exceeding the price of refined oil, such high disposal costs have greatly dampened the enthusiasm of ships, receiving units and disposal units.

  The reporter took a boat to interview at several Yangtze River anchorages. As the protection of the Yangtze River continues to advance, various places along the river vigorously crack down on the behavior of ships' domestic garbage, domestic sewage, and oily sewage entering the river. More and more crew members realize that pollutants cannot be discharged directly into the Yangtze River.

However, because of the high cost of reception, "the reception and disposal are too expensive, and the direct discharge of pollution from the Yangtze River" makes the crew face a dilemma.

  Some crew members stated for various reasons that "there is no oily sewage on the ship, so there is no need to pump", and some crew members said that "water transportation is already sluggish, and it is impossible to pump so much oily sewage once."

On one of the ships, the reporter also discovered that the oily sewage was directly discharged. The pump and hose went directly into the oily sewage in the cabin, and the black dirty oil on the pipe was obvious.

Strict investigation and heavy fines alone cannot stop the direct discharge of oily sewage

  Data show that there are still many cases of direct discharge of oily sewage into the Yangtze River seized by law enforcement agencies.

In a city along the Yangtze River that the reporter interviewed, the Maritime Department punishes nearly 100 cases of pollution-related incidents from ships each year, including ships discharging residual oil and waste oil into water bodies, private rainwater collection and discharge pipelines, and rainwater with mixed oil pollution directly discharged into the Yangtze River. Hidden dangers and so on.

There are also some typical cases. For example, in March 2020, the Nanjing Municipal Public Security Bureau Water Branch detected a case of stealing oily sewage from a ship. The ship’s previous chief engineer instructed personnel to secretly discharge the oily sewage, which was concealed by purchasing receipts and filling the tonnage. Hidden row behavior.

  There are nearly 120,000 inland water freight ships in the 14 provinces and cities of the Yangtze River system. The direct discharge of heavy fine oil and sewage has been strictly investigated when the receiving and disposal link has not been opened. Although it can form a deterrent effect, it cannot stop the hidden danger of pollution of the Yangtze River by ships' oil sewage .

  ——Why is the cost of receiving oily sewage high?

Is there a way to reduce it?

According to Manager Qin, the technical person in charge of an oil wastewater treatment company in the Yangtze River Delta, the cost of oil wastewater treatment varies greatly across the country. The more developed the region, the higher the price.

  On the one hand, the disposal cost is related to the environmental protection requirements of various places.

For example, in the Northwest region, the waste water generated from the disposal of waste mineral oil can be used in the crude oil extraction process after simple treatment.

However, in the areas along the river, the waste water and waste residues from the disposal of waste mineral oil must be treated again in accordance with high standards, and the cost has doubled.

  On the other hand, the level of disposal costs has a great relationship with the adequacy of market competition.

In the area along the Yangtze River, small companies that recycle oily wastewater are gradually withdrawing due to environmental issues. Oily wastewater can only be handled by large companies, and large companies that already have tight production capacity have further control of the pricing power.

  Under such market relations, the recycling value of oily wastewater is often underestimated and ignored.

Chen Yongzhong, deputy director of the Chongqing Municipal Transportation Bureau, said: “It is profitable to recycle oily wastewater with high oil content, but the mechanism has not yet been established.”

  ——Why is the oily sewage disposal capacity seriously insufficient?

Can it be increased?

The reporter visited many places along the Yangtze River and found that there are generally not many companies that dispose of oily wastewater. Some cities have only one, and some cities do not have one, and they need to be disposed of across cities.

  Gong Yuan, director of the Wuhan Radiation and Hazardous Solid Waste Pollution Prevention and Control Center, said, “This type of waste disposal industry is very attractive and difficult to implement in a large city like Wuhan, because it has to consider land prices, environmental impact, and safety. Distance and multiple issues such as waste water and waste residue re-disposal."

  "When we entered the oily wastewater treatment industry, we found that many places said that there were many qualifications approved by the local authorities and that the disposal capacity was already surplus, but this was just a surplus on paper, and the actual disposal capacity was still in short supply. Many of them got the qualifications. The project has not been completed." Manager Qin said for example, "We found that some projects have a designed annual production capacity of 200,000 tons and have obtained relevant qualifications, but their actual disposal volume in a year is actually only a few hundred tons."

Open up the whole process supervision of oily sewage and the whole chain disposal channel

  There are a large number of ships in the Yangtze River, and each ship is a mobile oil-sewage generator. Supervision involves multiple departments such as transportation, ecological environment, industry and information technology, and supervision is difficult.

Many supervisory officials said that the ship is mobile, where should the oily sewage go ashore?

Who cares?

How to manage?

At present, there is still a lack of a full process, full chain, and strong supervision mechanism.

  "The characteristics of the Yangtze River Golden Waterway are regional and mobile. The water is mobile, and so is the ship. Therefore, the pollution prevention and control work must implement the main responsibility of the local government, make due diligence in planning, construction, and management, and establish a region. Coordination and linkage mechanism." said Xu Guoyi, director of the office of Shanghai Combined Port Management Committee.

  Relevant officials of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment suggested that relevant departments such as transportation, ecological environment, and housing construction strengthen collaboration to form a joint force, establish and improve a joint departmental supervision mechanism, and use information technology to strengthen the management of ship oil and sewage transportation and disposal.

  Interviewees also suggested opening up the oily wastewater treatment and utilization mechanism.

The list of relevant disposal companies and their actual disposal capabilities will be mapped out in various places along the Yangtze River, and the "one game of chess" plan will add disposal forces.

At the same time, improve the infrastructure related to oily wastewater reception and disposal to reduce disposal costs.

  For example, a ship pollutant receiving station with an investment of more than 10 million yuan in Maanshan City, Anhui Province has recently been put into use, and ship receiving and terminal receiving cooperate with each other.

On the one hand, the receiving station uses the receiving vessel to receive the oily sewage, domestic garbage, and domestic sewage from ships free of charge. By building domestic sewage on the shore to connect to the urban pipeline network, domestic garbage cleaning and compression, and oily sewage pretreatment and other related facilities, reduce the disposal Cost, this part of the cost is paid by the Maanshan City Government.

At the same time, the docks of the Maanshan section of the Yangtze River are equipped with free receiving facilities for oily sewage, domestic garbage, and domestic sewage. The disposal costs of these pollutants are paid by the district government where the terminal is located.

(Dong Xue, Wang Xian, Han Zhen, Jia Yuankun)