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The London Convention and London Protocol are international treaties of global application to protect the marine environment from pollution caused by the dumping of wastes and other matter into the ocean.In the United States, the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), also known as the Ocean Dumping Act, implements the requirements of the London Convention.
The London Convention and London Protocol prohibit the dumping of wastes with more than levels of radionuclides.The Scientific Groups are responsible for providing scientific and technical advice on ocean dumping and marine pollution to the Consultative Meeting.EPA leads the United States delegation and is supported by the State Department, USACE, NOAA, Navy, USCG, DOE and DOI.Top of Page In 1996, Contracting Parties to the London Convention concluded negotiations toward a new, free-standing treaty, referred to as the London Protocol, to modernize and eventually replace the London Convention. The London Protocol is intended to be more protective of the marine environment.The London Protocol expressly prohibits incineration at sea and the export of wastes and other matter for the purpose of ocean dumping.1972 Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) Top of Page The United States is a Contracting Party to the London Convention.
The United States ratified the London Convention on April 29, 1974.
Under the London Protocol, dumping of all wastes and other materials is prohibited except the following materials listed in Annex I of the London Protocol (“the reverse list”), which may be considered for dumping: The United States signed the London Protocol in 1998, but has not ratified the treaty.
The President submitted the London Protocol to the Senate for advice and consent on September 4, 2007.
The United States’ prohibition on the ocean dumping of industrial wastes in 1988 (phasing out the practice in 1992) demonstrated to other countries that such a goal could be accomplished without sacrificing economic growth or standards of living.
The United States actively participates in the annual Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and London Protocol.
The London Convention requires that Contracting Parties issue a permit for the dumping of wastes and other matter at sea, and generally prohibits the dumping of certain hazardous materials.