Anyone operating a vessel or off-shore company needs to stay abreast of any changes landside when considering their business needs. When the government opts for widespread changes in the name of green energy, it is unclear how much it may impact individual businesses.
According to The Daily News in Galveston County, the Galveston Wharves recently received certification from the Green Marine program for its commitment to implement environmental initiatives.
The certification program
The Green Marine environment program identifies 12 different performance indicators. This includes greenhouse gases, waste management and spill prevention that apply to both landside operations and shipping activities.
As a result, Galveston Wharves seeks to implement a few environmental programs. These deal with LNG fuel bunkering, shore power for ships to plug into and renewable energy plans.
Another program is an increase in the number of waste-reduction initiatives designed to give preference to buying products made of recycled materials.
While this is a voluntary commitment on the part of Galveston Wharves, it is unknown right now how these programs may impact business relations with maritime companies. Some changes involve inexpensive policy shifts while others may involve millions of dollars in research and implementation.
The maritime impact
Any claims or litigation involving environmental issues, cargo matters or contract disputes involve complex legal hurdles. These complications include sovereign domains, jurisdictions and conflicting policies. Maritime cases may include pollution events or long-range planning depending on the needs of a maritime company.
Galveston Wharves is only the second Texas port to receive this certification in the program, but as more ports consider and rearrange their policies, it is important for private businesses to adapt, plan and potentially litigate for the changes ahead.