How To Conduct an Environmental Audit

How To Conduct an Environmental Audit

By Capt. Atul Vatsa, Vice President, Compliance (Environmental, Marine & Safety)

011 How To Conduct An Environemental Audit Thome Ship Management

The aim of an environmental audit is to verify full compliance to company’s policies and procedures. The audit programme should include, but is not be limited to, the review of all records, reports, logs, training assessments, incident reports, maintenance records, management reviews, sampling and monitoring data, reports of non-conformities and all corrective actions. The audit should include a physical inspection of any environmental equipment with crew demonstrations on how to use the equipment properly. Audits could be extended to include crew familiarity with company policy and the general compliance programme.

The environmental compliance audit may be considered an investigation, in that its purpose is to review all areas of operation that can impact various elements of pollution prevention and environmental protection. The auditor must introduce himself to the Master and Chief Engineer, explain the scope of the Audit and discuss the preferred order in which it will be carried out, prior to commencement of the Audit. The auditor is provided with a vessel audit checklist as a guide for the way that audit could be conducted. In order to support the auditor in this respect, references to TGP requirements have been included in the audit checklist for the following, but not limited to, areas:

  • Certificates
  • SOPEP – Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan
  • Vessel Response Plans (VRP)
  • Crew Familiarization, CE Handover Pollution Drills and
  • Training Records, and Familiarization
  • Oil Record Book (ORB-I & II) – Including last three months ORB review
  • Garbage Management Plan (GMP)
  • Oily Water Separator (OWS) Including 1 hr test run and BHT visual inspection
  • Sounding Log (Blue book)
  • Oil-to Sea Interface
  • Oil Discharge and Monitoring Equipment (ODME)
  • Vessel General Permit (VGP) & BIO Fouling
  • Oil Transfer Procedures and Operations (Bunker Procedures)
  • Standard Discharge Ship/Shore Connection
  • Bilge Water Management – Ref: MARPOL Annex I
  • Environment Tag System (ETS)
  • Bilge-Main Cross Connections / Emergency Bilge suction / Blank flanges
  • Waste/Sludge System / Oil Incineration
  • Sewage Waste Stream
  • ECP Implementation & Recordkeeping
  • E-Waste & Hazardous Waste
  • Ballast Water Management
  • TGP procedures and Forms

Upon completion of the audit, the auditor must discuss the findings with the Master and Chief Engineer before leaving the vessel. The final audit results should be presented in the audit report to HOC and follow-up actions documented and tracked.