Technical Report details

Title : Considerations to reduce environmental impacts of vessels

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Publication : Incom Report 99 - July 2008 issue
Author(s) : InCom Working Group 99
Price : 104 euro
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Motivation for establishing Working Group 99

Balancing the needs of the natural waterway system with the development of inland navigation as a viable and environmental friendly mode of transportation was the driving motivation to establish the Working Group 99 (Formerly known as InCom WG 27). As traffic demands increase and the public interest in conserving natural systems grows, it is important to understand and quantify the effects of passing vessels and determine the relationship of these physical effects to the aquatic ecosystem. Several key drivers have brought this subject to the forefront of inland waterway transport, calling for the best practices in evaluation, design, and operation of safe, dependable and environmentally sustainable waterways.

In a series of studies and reports, the US Army Corps of Engineers conducted detailed investigations of the effects of increasing commercial tow traffic on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterways System as part of a feasibility subject on navigation improvements. The US Army EngineeringResearch and Development Center executed many of these studies, developing state-of-the-art meth-odologies for quantifying physical effects of passing vessels and biological impacts. Sandra Knight, Chairman of InCom, contributed to the feasibility study and was instrumental in developing the terms of reference (TOR) and initiating the working group.

In the European Community, the Water Framework Directive legislation will require more accountability with respect to the ecosystem by inland navigation operators. Furthermore, as inland waterways systems are developing internationally it is fundamentally critical that designs fully integrate and balance engineering, economics and environmental objectives. Better understanding of the physical and biological effects will result in sustainable waterways compatible with social and political requirements.

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