As the announcement of International Maritime Organization that about 50 percent of the cargos transported on the sea are either dangerous or potentially environmentally harmful, there is an increasing interest in hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) of over 6,000 kinds such as oil, harmful liquid substance, harmful packaging substance, dangerous packaging substance, liquid chemical bulk, liquefied gas bulk, and dangerous solid bulk.
HNS spill may result in catastrophe, since one or more accident of explosion, fire, leakage, and toxic gas could simultaneously take place during spill incident, in addition, HNS spill response options are considerably complex with different methods according to each substance. Therefore, this study examined South Korea's HNS spill response system and compared it with that of the US and Japan, in order to seek improvements required for establishing appropriate maritime HNS spill response system for Korea.
The study is composed of total five chapters and the first, the introduction, is about the background, purpose, and main content of the research. The second chapter looks into international agreements relating to HNS and national HNS contingency plan suggested by IMO, and, in chapter 3, the definition of HNS and main control substances of Korea are studied, as well as analyzing the transported quantity of HNS in Korea based on the cargo types and ports, to find out about HNS accidents, also the study included HNS spill response system of Korea, Japan, and the US. In chapter 4, the main part of this study, the current status and improvements of Korea's response were examined to look for improvements of HNS response system, finally, in chapter 5, summary and concluding remarks are given with some suggestions to improve HNS spill response system.
As a result of the study, suggestions to improve Korea's HNS spill response system are as follows.
First, it should be legally mandatory for HNS carriers and storage facilities that transport or store a certain amount of HNS to be able to mobilize HNS response equipments within a limited time in the designated area to prepare for the accident.
Second, the training courses for HNS accident responder in Korea must be divided into at least two levels - director and field response course - according to IMO training module standards.
Third, as for the human resources, six fire-fighting specialists and HNS specialists should be assigned to each region of Ulsan, Yeosu, and Daesan as the highest risk area.
Fourth, as for the material resources, basic HNS spill response equipment must be prepared based on the human resources assignment plan.
Fifth, by integrating maritime HNS spill response system, causes-analysis and selection of response methods for spill countermeasures could be conducted more quickly and easily. Also, a network relating to this integrated system must be prepared to use for field control and prevention strategies and cooperation between different organizations.
Sixth, the cargo classification of Shipping and Port-Internet Data Center relating-crude oil (petroleum), refined petroleum product, petroleum gas, and other gas and chemical products should be classified based on behavior or properties categories to facilitate spill response.
Korea's maritime HNS spill response system has not been verified because there has been no remarkable HNS maritime accident yet, and, therefore, further studies are needed so that the system continues to improve based on scientific and logical standards.