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Pollution Prevention: The Navy Needs Better Plans for Reducing Ship Waste
Discharges (Letter Report, 11/04/94, GAO/NSIAD-95-38).

Despite 15 years of research, the Navy has made little progress in
developing equipment to process solid waste aboard ships, as required by
a 1973 treaty.  The Navy has spent more than $50 million to develop four
types of shipboard solid waste processing equipment--a vertical trash
compactor, a solid waste pulper, a plastics processor, and a metal/glass
shredder.  However, only the plastics processor is moving ahead at this
time.  Prior planning to reduce the discharge of ships' solid waste was
not well-coordinated and did not include interim milestones for
measuring progress toward minimizing waste.  Coordination for the Navy's
expected November 1996 plan has improved, but still suffers from a lack
of tasks and milestones.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-95-38
     TITLE:  Pollution Prevention: The Navy Needs Better Plans for 
             Reducing Ship Waste Discharges
      DATE:  11/04/94
   SUBJECT:  Waste disposal
             Military vessels
             Environmental policies
             Recycling
             Navy procurement
             Equipment contracts
             Solid waste management
             Pollution control
             Research and development costs
IDENTIFIER:  Navy Shipboard Solid and Plastics Waste Management Program
             U.S.S. Saratoga
             U.S.S. George Washington
             U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt
             Navy Plastics Removal in Marine Environment Program
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Requesters

November 1994

POLLUTION PREVENTION - THE NAVY
NEEDS BETTER PLANS FOR REDUCING
SHIP WASTE DISCHARGES

GAO/NSIAD-95-38

Pollution Prevention


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV


Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-259190

November 4, 1994

The Honorable Joseph I.  Lieberman
United States Senate

The Honorable Gary A.  Franks
House of Representatives

This report responds to your request that we review the Navy's
Shipboard Solid and Plastics Waste Management Program planning. 
Specifically, it assesses (1) past and current planning for the
shipboard solid waste management program and (2) program results thus
far. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

In 1973, the United States and other maritime nations signed the
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. 
The treaty, now in force with its 1978 protocol, includes five
annexes.  Annex V regulates the discharge from ships of garbage and
other solid waste--paper, cardboard, metal, glass, and a wide range
of plastics (such as garbage bags, coffee cups, shrink wrap, and wire
insulation).  It prohibits the discharge of paper, cardboard, metal,
and glass waste near land and in "special" areas\1 and of plastics
anywhere at sea.  The treaty exempts warships and other naval vessels
of the signing states, but encouraged governments to apply the
pollution controls to such ships to the extent practicable.  To
implement the treaty, Congress passed the Act for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships in 1980.  The act exempted U.S.  Navy ships from
its coverage.  Later in 1987, Congress required the Navy to comply
with the discharge requirements of Annex V by December 31, 1993.  If
unable to comply, the Navy was to report to Congress by December 31,
1991. 

The Navy sent its compliance report to Congress in August 1993.  As
required by law, the report listed (1) actions taken in response to
the 1987 amendments; (2) impediments to meeting prohibitions on
discharge of plastics anywhere at sea, discharge requirements of
solid waste near land by December 31, 1993, and solid waste
discharges in special areas; and (3) ships that cannot achieve full
compliance.  This report recommended changes to requirements. 
Specifically, the Navy requested Congress to extend the compliance
deadline to December 31, 1998; permit discharge of nonplastic,
nonfloating processed solid waste in special areas; and provide
certain exemptions for submarines.  In November 1993, Congress
extended the Navy's compliance deadlines, but did not change the
requirements.  Specifically, the solid waste compliance date for
surface ships was extended to December 31, 1998; the special area
compliance date for surface ships was extended to December 31, 2000;
and the submarine compliance date was extended to December 31, 2008. 

In August 1994, we provided a chronology of Navy actions to develop
solid waste processing equipment.\2 Appendix I expands and updates
this chronology. 


--------------------
\1 Special areas now in place include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea,
the wider Caribbean region, and the Antarctic Region. 

\2 Pollution Prevention:  Chronology of Navy Ship Waste Processing
Equipment Development (GAO/NSIAD-94-221FS, Aug.  18, 1994). 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

The Navy's two prior plans for meeting requirements for discharge of
ships' solid waste reflected the Navy's belief that it could comply
in part by 1998 or later, rather than in full by 1993.  The prior
planning did not appear well-coordinated and did not include interim
milestones for measuring progress toward minimizing waste.  The
coordination for its expected November 1996 plan has improved, but
the planning still does not include tasks or milestones to achieve
near-term compliance for other than plastics.  At the time the Navy
expects to submit its 1996 plan to Congress, the Navy will have 4
years to develop and install new technologies to meet requirements in
special areas and 2 years for other areas. 

After years of research, the Navy does not have an approach to meet
future legal requirements for the discharge of solid waste.  Of about
$80 million appropriated through fiscal year 1994, about $52 million
has been spent on four types of equipment.  Although the Navy has
made some limited progress, three of the four primary Navy equipment
development projects have been canceled, suspended, or reduced. 
Further, insufficient consideration has been given to determining
whether lessons can be learned from non-Navy ships and individual
Navy ships that report progress in complying with discharge
requirements. 


   INITIAL PLANS WERE NOT ACCEPTED
   AND CURRENT PLANNING LACKS
   SPECIFICS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The Navy's 1993 plan assumed that it would be exempted from complying
with statutory requirements in certain areas, but Congress did not
approve exemptions for the Navy.  As a consequence, the Navy lost
valuable time that could have been used to develop a compliance plan
and now must restart the process for all but plastics.  Also, the
Navy would benefit from establishing detailed tasks and milestones
for nonplastic waste and from further investigating lessons learned
from other federal agencies and commercial carriers. 


      KEY PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS
      WERE NOT ACCEPTED BY
      CONGRESS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

Since 1987, the Navy has put forth two separate planning proposals
that were ultimately not successful and is now in the process of
developing a third plan. 

In 1987, Navy officials testified before Congress that the Navy was
preparing a plan to bring the Navy into compliance with future legal
requirements quickly.  However, Navy planning at that time envisioned
compliance beyond 10 years.  The Navy's 1987 Shipboard Solid and
Plastics Waste Management Program Plan set two objectives.  First,
within 5 years, the Navy planned to reduce overboard discharges of
plastics by decreasing the amount of plastics brought onboard and by
segregating and storing plastics onboard.  Second, by 1998--5 years
after the date called for in the law--Navy-unique versions of
shipboard solid waste processing equipment would be developed and
installed on Navy ships. 

In 1993, the Navy developed its second compliance plan, with no
interim milestones for measuring progress toward minimizing waste. 
Although Congress had required the Navy to report on any inabilities
to comply with discharge requirements by the end of 1991, it was not
until August 1993 that the Navy reported to Congress that it could
not meet the December 31, 1993, deadline.  The Navy's revised plan
stated that it would comply with discharge requirements by December
31, 1998.  However, this was based on an assumption that Congress
would revise requirements so the Navy could discharge waste overboard
as long as it did not float and was not plastic. 

In the 1993 amendments to the 1980 act, Congress extended the Navy's
compliance deadline, but did not grant the Navy's requested changes
to the Annex V requirements.  Congress also mandated some milestones. 
The Navy was to issue a request for proposals for the plastics
processors by October 1, 1994,\3 and to install the first production
unit of the plastics processor in a Navy ship by July 1, 1996.  The
requirement to install processors for plastics increased from 25
percent of ships needing the processor by March 1, 1997; to 50
percent by July 1, 1997; 75 percent by July 1, 1998; and all ships
needing the processor by December 31, 1998. 

In addition, the 1993 amendments required the Navy to develop its
third plan by November 30, 1996.  To oversee development of the plan,
in April 1994, the Navy established the Shipboard Solids and Plastics
Waste Steering Committee.  The Committee is to facilitate
preparation, agency consultation, public participation, and submittal
of the plan.  Thus far, with the assistance of a senior staff-level
working group, the Committee has developed a work plan and a
milestone schedule for preparing the final plan.  Developing the plan
is estimated to cost $7.5 million, principally for salaries and
studies.  In one study, the Center for Naval Analyses is exploring
options other than Navy-unique versions of equipment. 

In developing the plan, the Navy is consulting with other federal
agencies and the public to explore technologies and ideas.  It will
then group these alternatives into various categories,\4 which will
be subsequently analyzed.  The analyses are planned to be reviewed by
federal agencies beginning in late 1995 and by the public in early
1996. 

For significant portions of the Navy's compliance planning, neither
specific tasks nor associated milestones accomplishing those tasks
have been set.  For example, the stated planning does not include a
task to identify whether current non-Navy ship and Navy ship
practices can be used to achieve near-term compliance with Annex V
requirements.  Furthermore, the Navy plans no actions until 1996,
after Congress comments on its third plan.  In addition, by 1996,
when the Navy's plan is scheduled to be completed, the Navy will have
about 4 years left to develop and install new technologies to meet
requirements in special areas for surface ships, and only about 2
years in other areas. 

For submarines, the compliance date is not until 2008, but the Navy
now has no tasks or milestones at all--for example, to describe
current practices, quantify discharges, and identify preliminary
options.  The Navy does not expect to identify tasks or milestones
until after it submits its 1996 plan to Congress.  At present,
according to the Navy, a technology has not been identified that
would allow submarines to comply with requirements. 


--------------------
\3 The request for proposal for the plastics processor was released
on September 29, 1994. 

\4 The Navy's categories of alternatives will consist of onboard
destruction of waste alternatives, storage and retrograde waste
alternatives, "environmentally benign" processed waste alternatives,
and combinations of these technologies. 


      OPERATIONAL FACTORS
      CONSIDERED UNIQUE BY THE
      NAVY
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2

According to Navy officials, the Navy has several operational
characteristics that make it distinctive.  As a result of these, the
Navy believes that technologies that work effectively for other
federal agencies and commercial carriers are not suitable for its
ships.  Characteristics cited by the Navy include the following: 

Navy ships are unique because of their mission and special operating
constraints. 

The ships' design and operational characteristics are different than
most commercial ships. 

The Navy's mission requires that ships sustain operations at sea for
long periods, including replenishment of supplies. 

Navy ships have large crews that require handling and processing a
large volume of solid waste and potentially increase space
constraints for waste storage. 

Navy ships normally operate in harsh environments.  Therefore, waste
processing equipment must be designed and constructed for sustained
performance in a combat environment. 

Since Navy personnel perform most of the repairs onboard, the
equipment must also require minimum maintenance. 


      NON-NAVY SHIPS HAVE
      IMPLEMENTED APPROACHES TO
      ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.3

Non-Navy ships are using various approaches to meet discharge
requirements.  These practices include incinerating plastics,
compacting solid waste, and establishing shipboard recycling
programs.  In contrast to the Navy's 3/20-day rule,\5 the Coast Guard
and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prohibit
discharging plastics anywhere at sea and prohibit discharging solid
waste near land and in special areas. 

Although the Navy must maintain flexibility to meet its mission, our
work indicates that operational characteristics cited by the Navy are
not in all cases exclusive to the Navy.  For example, the Coast
Guard's two polar icebreaker cutters are at sea for 6 months at a
time and, as well as other Coast Guard cutters, contend with limited
storage space.  Also, transoceanic cruise ships have trip segments
exceeding 3 days, carry a large number of passengers, and generate a
large volume of waste.  Although the Navy's characteristics may delay
its full compliance with the future requirements, we identified
practices used by other federal agencies and commercial carriers that
could apply to the Navy's efforts to comply with discharge
requirements. 

Compaction is a key element in other federal and commercial solid
waste management programs.  For example, the Coast Guard plans to
install 182 compactors by the end of fiscal year 1996 for solid waste
onboard its cutters.  In addition, officials from the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and commercial carriers said
that compaction is important in their processing of solid waste. 

Non-Navy ships' efforts to meet discharge requirements have been
aided by recycling programs.  For example, some commercial carriers
we visited recycled plastics, glass, paper, aluminum, tin, and
cardboard.  Additionally, the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration have agencywide recycling programs. 
The Coast Guard has issued an instruction establishing its shore
facilities and shipboard recycling program.  The Navy has an
established shore-based recycling program, but its shipboard
recycling effort varies by operating units. 


--------------------
\5 Under its 3/20-day rule, the Navy is to retain food-contaminated
plastics for the last 3 days at sea and nonfood-contaminated plastics
for at least the last 20 days. 


   LIMITED PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING
   PROGRAM RESULTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

Two Navy ships reported progress in compliance, and headquarters'
initiatives have improved operations in some respects.  Headquarters'
initiatives have included such operational improvements as supply
system changes to reduce the amount of wrapping materials brought
onboard.  However, Navy headquarters had limited coordination with
fleet operating units.  The headquarters primary focus has been on
developing equipment that met Navy specifications, but three of its
four long-term projects have been canceled, suspended, or reduced. 


      TWO NAVY SHIPS REPORTED
      PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING
      COMPLIANCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.1

USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Saratoga officials told us that they
achieved compliance beyond the Navy's 3/20-day rule by compacting,
storing, and offloading materials and by burning waste, including
plastics.  Some Navy ships burned all solid waste, including medical
and dental waste.  USS Theodore Roosevelt personnel said that they
achieved compliance with discharge requirements in part by storing
compacted materials aboard ships and offloading them at designated
port reception facilities. 

The ships' strategies were affected by Navy headquarters actions
during 1993.  The Navy decided in March 1993 that the requirement for
trash compactors no longer existed because the Navy decided that the
pulper and shredder could better meet its needs.  At that time, the
Navy terminated its contract.  In August 1993, the Navy directed
fleet operating units to stop incinerating plastics at sea.  Navy
headquarters officials said that they discontinued burning plastics
at sea due to the concerns of environmental groups represented in the
Keystone Dialogue Group.\6

However, the Navy provided no alternative plan with its changes, so
the ships reverted to the Navy's 3/20-day rule.  In a 6-month
deployment that began in March 1993, the USS Theodore Roosevelt's log
showed no reported plastics discharge prior to the Navy's August 1993
message prohibiting the incineration of plastics.  Within days after
the message, the USS Theodore Roosevelt logged periodic discharges of
plastics. 

In discussing this issue, headquarters Navy officials said that the
above ship was using the Navy's prototype pulper, which can process
nonfood waste.  They said the ship may not have fully met discharge
requirements to the extent that nonfood waste may have been
discharged by its pulper near land or in special areas. 


--------------------
\6 The dialogue group first met in October 1987 as the Ad Hoc
Advisory Committee on Plastics under the auspices of the Keystone
Center.  The Keystone Center is a neutral, nonprofit organization
that mediates and facilitates multiparty dialogues on environmental
issues. 


      NAVY HEADQUARTERS
      INITIATIVES RESULTED IN
      OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.2

In 1989, the Navy established the Plastics Removal in Marine
Environment program to reduce the volume of plastic material taken
onboard Navy ships.  This reduction has been accomplished by product
substitution and by minimizing plastic packaging and packing
materials.  For example, the program led to the Navy canceling a
contract for 1 million plastic laundry bags, substituting paper cups
for styrofoam cups, and introducing paper trash bags.  Such
initiatives have resulted in the Navy avoiding the acceptance of over
500,000 pounds per year of plastic items. 

Also in 1989, the Navy established a policy that Navy surface ships
follow the 3/20-day rule to control plastics discharges at sea. 
Although an early Navy evaluation indicated that implementing the
rule would reduce the service's plastics discharge by 70 percent, no
studies or analyses reflect that this was accomplished. 


      LIMITED NAVY COORDINATION
      WITH OPERATING UNITS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.3

Navy headquarters had limited coordination with operating units.  For
example, some operating unit officials were unaware that the Navy
canceled the trash compactor contract.  Further, Navy headquarters
was not involved in operating units' procurement of commercial trash
compactors.  During most of the period that Navy headquarters had
contracts to develop its compactor, Navy operating units purchased
commercial trash compactors.  One operating unit we visited purchased
120 commercial trash compactors in 1991, about 7 months before Navy
headquarters awarded a contract for 94 of its compactors.\7 Navy
headquarters was not involved in the operating unit's procurement. 
During the latter part of our work, we observed that coordination
between Navy headquarters and operating units had improved,
especially in developing the congressionally required report for
1996. 


--------------------
\7 The Navy subsequently canceled the headquarters' acquisition of
the trash compactors after deciding that the requirement for a trash
compactor no longer exists. 


      FOCUS WAS ON DEVELOPING
      EQUIPMENT TO MEET NAVY
      SPECIFICATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.4

Over the past 15 years, the Navy has conducted research to develop
shipboard solid waste processing equipment--a vertical trash
compactor, a solid waste pulper, a plastics waste processor, and a
metal/glass shredder.  In 1979, the Navy's first contract to design a
trash compactor was awarded.  The trash compactor was to be designed
to process nonindustrial and nonhazardous waste into trash slugs that
sink to the bottom of the ocean.  In 1985, the Navy began developing
a solid waste pulper.  The pulper was designed to tear and grind
food, paper, and cardboard waste into a slurry of small particles
that could be pumped overboard and dispersed in the sea.  In 1987,
the Navy began developing a plastics waste processor, which generally
consists of a shredder and three compress-melt units that shred,
compress, and heat plastics into solid plastic disks.  The plastic
disks are stored onboard ships for later landfill disposal.  In 1993,
the Navy began developing a metal/glass shredder.  The shredder was
initially designed to crush and cut metal and glass into pieces that
will sink in bags to the bottom of the sea.  In 1994, preproduction
prototypes of the pulper, shredder, and plastics processor were
installed on the USS George Washington for evaluations, which are
still underway. 

Through fiscal year 1994, the Navy had appropriations of $79.8
million to research, develop, procure, and operate shipboard solid
waste processing equipment (see table 1).\8

The Navy spent $51.5 million from fiscal years 1979 through 1994,
and, as of October 25, 1994, it had $28.3 million in fiscal year 1993
and 1994 ship construction appropriations for future obligations,
varying by ship from 5 to 10 years. 



                                     Table 1
                     
                         Funding by Appropriation and by
                         Equipment (Fiscal Years 1979-94)

                              (Dollars in thousands)

                             Research              Operation
                                  and        Ship          &      Other
                           developmen  constructi  maintenan  procureme
Type of equipment                   t          on         ce         nt    Total
-------------------------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  -------
Plastics processor            $20,710     $28,300     $6,539       $301  $55,850
Solid waste pulper             14,970           0          0          0   14,970
Metal/glass shredder            4,848           0          0          0    4,848
Trash compactor                 4,175           0          0          0    4,175
================================================================================
Total                         $44,703     $28,300     $6,539       $301  $79,843
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Naval Sea Systems Command. 


--------------------
\8 In our August 18, 1994, report, the Navy estimated it had spent
$26 million through fiscal year 1993 on equipment projects. 
Subsequently, the Navy increased this amount to $42.5 million to
correct some reported actual expenditures and to include 1993 ship
construction appropriations for future expenditures. 


      STATUS OF EQUIPMENT
      DEVELOPMENT
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.5

The equipment projects yielded mixed results, with only the plastics
processor proceeding at this time.  The Navy reported $27.5 million
spent on the plastics processor thus far, and $28.3 million
appropriated in fiscal years 1993 and 1994.  The Navy plans to
install the production version of the plastics processor in surface
ships that need them by the end of 1998.  According to a Navy
document, shipboard plastics amounts to only 6.5 percent of the solid
waste generated by weight, but represents a major environmental
concern. 

In March 1993, the Navy canceled the trash compactor contract because
other equipment could better meet the Navy's needs.  Thus far, the
Navy has spent $4.2 million for the trash compactor effort.\9

The Navy had continued to develop the solid waste pulper and the
metal/glass shredder in anticipation that Congress would accept its
proposed modification of the regulations implementing Annex V.  In
the Navy's 1993 compliance report, the Navy recommended that Congress
allow it to discharge pulped or shredded waste, such as paper, glass,
and metal near land and in special areas.  Congress did not adopt the
Navy's proposal in the 1993 amendments, which were signed on November
30, 1993.  In May 1994, the Navy suspended efforts to acquire and
install the pulper ($15 million spent), and it reduced the role of
the metal/glass shredder ($4.8 million spent).  Shredders to be used
as a part of the Navy's plastics processors were retained.  Navy
officials said that the Navy is studying the shipboard solid waste
discharges from pulpers and shredders and that the results may be of
use in setting future requirements. 

The Navy has several research projects underway for destroying or
treating shipboard waste that are not in its Shipboard Solid and
Plastics Waste Management Program.  These include projects--such as
plasma arc, pulsed plasma arc, and molten salt destruction, and
ram-jet incineration--for destroying or treating shipboard waste. 
Through fiscal year 1994, the Navy has spent $6 million on these
projects, which are in the early research phase. 


--------------------
\9 The Navy and the contractor have not agreed on the trash compactor
contract termination cost.  The contractor's current net proposed
settlement is $2.1 million. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

We recommend that the Secretary of the Navy direct the Commander,
Naval Sea Systems Command, to ensure that headquarters' planning
efforts include the (1) tasks and interim milestones to measure
progress toward long-term goals for nonplastic solid waste for both
surface ships and submarines and (2) necessary mechanisms to
coordinate among all involved activities, especially to pass on
lessons learned from non-Navy ships and individual Navy ships that
report progress in complying with discharge requirements. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

As requested, we did not obtain official agency comments on this
report.  However, we discussed our findings and recommendations with
Navy officials and have included their additional information and
comments where appropriate.  Our objectives, scope, and methodology
are discussed in appendix II. 

Unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further
distribution of this report until 30 days after its issue date.  At
that time, we will make copies available to interested congressional
committees, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Office of Management
and Budget.  We will also make copies available to others on request. 

Please call me at (202) 512-8412 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors are listed in
appendix III. 

Donna M.  Heivilin, Director
Defense Management and NASA Issues


CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS OCCURRING
WHILE NAVY ATTEMPTS TO COMPLY WITH
REQUIREMENTS
=========================================================== Appendix I

The following chronology\1 shows the Navy's efforts to comply with a
treaty (the 1973/1978 International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships) and accompanying legislation (Act for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1980 and the 1987 and 1993
amendments to the act).  The treaty sets forth agreements for
controlling worldwide marine pollution, and the subsequent
legislation makes portions of this treaty law. 

Date                       Event
-------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------
1970s                      The Navy begins research on the disposal of solid
                           waste (food, paper, cardboard, metal, glass, and
                           plastics) from Navy ships.

1973                       The International Convention for the Prevention of
                           Pollution from Ships is drafted to control marine
                           pollution worldwide.

1978                       The International Convention for the Prevention of
                           Pollution from Ships is amended by a protocol. The
                           treaty and protocol exempt government-owned ships in
                           noncommercial service.

1973/78                    Annex V of the treaty and protocol prohibits
                           discharge of food, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass
                           waste near land; bans discharge of plastics anywhere
                           at sea; and prohibits all waste discharges, except
                           food, in special areas. (A special area is a sea area
                           where more stringent limitations on discharge of
                           solid waste are considered necessary; special areas
                           now in place include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea,
                           the wider Caribbean region, and the Antarctic
                           Region.)

1979                       The Navy awards a contract for a trash compactor
                           design study.

1980                       The Navy awards a contract to develop and test one
                           prototype trash compactor and two preproduction
                           compactors. The compactors are to convert solid waste
                           into sinkable trash slugs.

1980                       To implement the International Convention for the
                           Prevention of Pollution from Ships, Congress passes
                           the Act for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
                           The act exempts U.S. Navy ships from its coverage.

1982                       The contractor for the trash compactor is acquired by
                           another contractor. Everything dealing with the
                           compactor is relocated to its plant where a new
                           compactor design is developed (on which the
                           production compactor is based).

1985                       The Navy begins developing a solid waste pulper to
                           process food,
                           paper, and cardboard.

1987                       The Navy begins developing a plastics waste processor
                           that will shred, compress, and heat plastics into a
                           solid plastic disk that can be stored onboard ships
                           for later landfill disposal. The Navy plans to
                           install the plastics processor in surface ships by
                           the end of 1998.

1987                       At a congressional hearing, the Assistant Secretary
                           of the Navy for Shipbuilding and Logistics indicates
                           that the Navy will quickly comply with the United
                           States commitment to Annex V.

1987                       The Navy participates in the Ad Hoc Advisory
                           Committee on Plastics to develop an approach to
                           reduce plastics waste. Its membership is composed of
                           Navy personnel, congressional staff members, and
                           representatives of environmental groups.

Nov. 1987                  The Navy presents its Shipboard Solid and Plastics
                           Waste Management Program Plan and estimates that the
                           program will cost $404 million. The plan calls for
                           reducing plastics discharges from Navy ships within 5
                           years. The long-term objective (11 years) is to
                           comply fully with Annex V by completing the
                           development of a trash compactor, a pulper, and a
                           plastics processor for Navy ships.

Nov. 1987                  The Navy encourages surface ships with incinerators
                           to use them at sea for destroying nonplastic solid
                           waste, such as paper and cardboard.

Dec. 1987                  The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act
                           (or the 1987 amendments) is enacted. The act gives
                           the Navy 5 years to comply with Annex V and requires
                           it to report to Congress in 3 years if it cannot meet
                           the deadline.

June 1988                  The Keystone Dialogue Group prepares a report for the
                           Assistant Secretary of the Navy that contains
                           recommendations to meet the Navy's solid waste
                           management goals by December 31, 1993. These include
                           the Navy's continued development of three shipboard
                           solid waste processing systems. They are (1) a trash
                           compactor, (2) a plastics processor, and (3) a
                           pulper.

Aug. 1988                  The Navy issues a survey report on how the plasma arc
                           destruction process could destroy or treat waste. The
                           plasma arc process is a technology that converts most
                           waste into gases or fused slag. (Subsequently,
                           research on other alternative technologies--pulsed
                           plasma arc, molten salt, and ram-jet incineration--
                           is initiated.)

Dec. 1988                  Annex V is entered into force for the United States.
                           The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control
                           Act, which amended the provisions of the 1980 Act for
                           the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, takes effect,
                           implementing Annex V pollution control requirements
                           for Navy ships during peacetime operations.

Jan. 1989                  Navy policy is to store food-contaminated plastics
                           for the last
                           3 days before entering port and to store nonfood-
                           contaminated plastics for at least the last 20 days.

Oct. 1989                  The Navy establishes the Plastics Removal in Marine
                           Environment program to reduce plastic packaging and
                           other plastic items that are used onboard Navy ships.

Aug. 1991                  The Navy issues a shipboard pollution discharge
                           restrictions guide (OPNAV Publication P-45-111-91) to
                           fleet commanders, Navy supply centers, naval training
                           centers, and others.

Aug. 1991                  For its ships, the Naval Surface Force Atlantic
                           purchases 120 trash compactors (20 large compactors
                           and 100 small compactors) that are specially designed
                           for the Navy. Compactors are to be delivered over the
                           next 6 months, by February 28, 1992. (From July 1985
                           through March 1994, numerous purchases of one to four
                           compactors are also made from the same manufacturer.)

Oct. 1991                  The Navy creates the Ship Environmental Technology
                           Task Force to coordinate the development of technical
                           solutions to emerging environmental compliance
                           challenges faced by Navy ships.

Dec. 1991                  The Navy's draft report on its inability to comply
                           with requirements is forwarded to the Assistant
                           Secretary of the Navy for Installations and
                           Environment.

Mar. 1992                  The Navy awards a $4.5-million contract for a
                           prototype trash compactor and 25 production trash
                           compactors.

Sept. 1992                 As part of the March 1992 contract, the Navy orders
                           23 more trash compactors at $3.3 million.

Jan. 1993                  As part of the March 1992 contract, the Navy orders
                           45 more trash compactors at $6.7 million.

Mar. 1993                  The Navy cancels the March 1992 trash compactor
                           contract after deciding that the requirement for a
                           trash compactor no longer exists. (To date, the Navy
                           and the contractor have not agreed on the contract
                           termination cost. The contractor's current net
                           proposed settlement is $2.1 million.)

Mar. 1993                  The Chief of Naval Operations' Executive Panel Task
                           Force on the Environment briefing states some
                           concerns with overall environmental requirements and
                           issues, including that environmental requirements,
                           research and development, and acquisition are not
                           integrated.

Apr. 1993                  The Navy begins developing a metal/glass shredder to
                           replace the trash compactor. (Subsequently, Navy
                           officials decide that this same shredder will be used
                           with the plastics processor to shred plastics waste.)

Apr. 1993                  The Navy issues its revised Shipboard Solid and
                           Plastics Waste Management Program Plan and estimates
                           that the program will cost $896 million (updated to
                           $901 million in September 1993). The Navy states that
                           it will comply with discharge requirements after
                           December 31, 1998, eliminates the compacting
                           requirement, adds the shredder requirement, and
                           retains the requirements for the pulper and plastics
                           processor.

June 1993                  The Navy publishes its compliance report for
                           Congress. The report lists actions taken in response
                           to the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control
                           Act, impediments to full compliance by December 31,
                           1993, and ships that cannot achieve full compliance.
                           The Navy recommends changes to some requirements.

Aug. 1993                  The Chief of Naval Operations directs fleet
                           commanders to terminate the incineration of plastics
                           at sea, citing beliefs that incineration presents
                           safety and health hazards.

Aug. 1993                  The Navy reports to Congress on Annex V compliance.
                           Proposed amendments to the Marine Plastic Pollution
                           Research and Control Act would extend the Navy's
                           compliance date regarding the discharge of plastics
                           from December 31, 1993, to December 31, 1998; extend
                           submarines' compliance with discharge requirements to
                           2008; and adopt a special area standard of "no
                           floating waste, no plastic waste."

Sept. 1993                 The Naval Sea Systems Command Ship Environmental
                           Technology Task Force report revises shipboard
                           environmental issues identified in the Task Force
                           Report Document of March 9, 1992. The report includes
                           solid and plastics waste management.

Nov. 1993                  The Navy issues its study addressing the incineration
                           of plastics aboard ships. The study concludes that
                           100-percent plastics waste yields higher levels of
                           dioxins and furans than lesser percentages, but does
                           not address health exposure concerns.

Nov. 1993                  In the 1993 amendments to the Act to Prevent
                           Pollution from Ships, the solid waste compliance date
                           for surface ships is extended to December 31, 1998;
                           the special area compliance date for surface ships is
                           extended to December 31, 2000; and the solid waste
                           compliance date and special area discharge
                           requirements for submarines is extended to December
                           31, 2008. The 1993 amendments require the Navy to (1)
                           issue a request for proposals for the plastics
                           processors by October 1, 1994; (2) install the first
                           production unit of the plastics processor in a Navy
                           ship by July 1, 1996, 25 percent of ships by March 1,
                           1997, 50 percent by July 1, 1997, 75 percent by July
                           1, 1998, and all ships requiring a processor by
                           December 31, 1998; and (3) develop a compliance plan
                           by November 30, 1996.

Dec. 1993                  The Navy notifies fleet operating units that a
                           violation of the 3/20-day rule for storing plastic
                           waste, except for discharges that are made because of
                           ship safety, crew health, or saving a life at sea, is
                           a felony offense under federal law.

Apr. 1994                  The Navy establishes a steering committee to oversee
                           development of the congressionally required
                           compliance plan and to ensure the plan is coordinated
                           with federal agencies and the public. The Navy
                           estimates that developing the plan will cost $7.5
                           million.

May 1994                   The Navy starts at-sea evaluations of preproduction
                           prototype pulper, shredder, and plastics processor
                           onboard the USS George Washington.

May 1994                   The Navy suspends acquisition and installation of the
                           pulper and shredder because they will not enable Navy
                           ships to meet requirements. The pulper and shredder
                           were being developed based on anticipated
                           congressional approval of the Navy's proposal to ease
                           requirements.

Aug. 1994                  Fleet operating units continue to purchase commercial
                           compactors and other commercial solid waste
                           processing equipment.

Aug. 1994                  Navy waste washes up on an 8-mile stretch of a North
                           Carolina beach. The waste is traced to the USS
                           Inchon, USS Trenton, and USS Gunston Hall. Waste
                           attributed to Navy ships includes cups (with ship
                           logo), an oven cleaner can, a medicine bottle, an
                           empty paint can, and plastic general purpose cleaner
                           bottles. This is the latest incident of the Navy
                           discharging solid waste from ships.

Sept. 1994                 The Navy meets with the public to discuss new
                           shipboard waste processing technology and Navy
                           compliance with requirements.

Sept. 1994                 The Navy releases a "request for proposals" for
                           purchasing plastics processors.

Oct. 1994                  The Navy begins a study addressing shipboard solid
                           waste discharges from its pulper and shredder.

1994                       The Navy is reconsidering its Shipboard Solid and
                           Plastics Waste Management Program and is scheduled to
                           complete its compliance plan by the end of 1996.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------
\1 This chronology expands and updates the one reported earlier in
Pollution Prevention:  Chronology of Navy Ship Waste Processing
Equipment Development (GAO/NSIAD-94-221FS, Aug.  18, 1994). 


OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY
========================================================== Appendix II

On January 13, 1994, we were asked to determine the results and cost
of the Navy's Shipboard Solid and Plastics Waste Management Program
to date, identify and analyze future program plans and actions, and
consider opportunities to improve program implementation.  On August
18, 1994, we reported (GAO/NSIAD- 94-221FS) on the results and cost
of the Navy's program through fiscal year 1993.  This report updates
our chronology on the results and cost of the program to date.  It
also assesses past and current planning for the shipboard solid waste
management program and program results thus far. 

To update the results and cost of the Navy's Shipboard Solid and
Plastics Waste Management Program and to identify the Navy's plan of
action and milestones to modify program strategy, we visited the
Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental
Security and the Department of the Navy--Office of the Assistant
Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, the Office
of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Naval Sea Systems Command,
Washington, D.C.; the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Annapolis,
Maryland; the Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet, the Commander Naval
Air Force Atlantic, the Commander Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and
the Commander Naval Submarine Force Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia; the
Commander Naval Air Force Pacific and the Commander Naval Surface
Force Pacific, San Diego, California; and selected Navy ships (the
USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Saratoga, and USS George Washington).  At
these locations, we reviewed documents and interviewed officials.  We
used Navy cost data to calculate the costs associated with shipboard
solid waste processing equipment. 

In considering the practices of others and available options, we
visited the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of State;
the Department of Transportation (the Coast Guard), Washington, D.C.;
the Department of Commerce (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration), Rockville, Maryland; selected commercial carriers
(Sea-Land Service, Inc., Elizabeth, New Jersey; International Council
of Cruise Lines, Washington, D.C.; Florida Caribbean Cruise
Association and Royal Viking, Coral Gables, Florida; Costa Cruise
Lines, Miami, Florida; Princess Cruises and Crystal Cruises, Los
Angeles, California); an equipment manufacturer and an equipment
distributor that represented several manufacturers (Chicago
Trashpacker Corporation, Marengo, Illinois; and Big Stuff, Inc.,
Capitol Heights, Maryland, respectively).  At these locations, we
obtained information on (1) solid waste disposal practices of other
federal agencies and commercial carriers and (2) available options
from public- and private-sector organizations. 

We performed our review from January 1994 through September 1994 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix II


   NATIONAL SECURITY AND
   INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
   WASHINGTON, D.C. 
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1

David Warren, Associate Director
Uldis Adamsons, Assistant Director
Marjorie Pratt, Evaluator


   NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2

Johnnie Phillips, Evaluator-in-Charge
Jeanett Reid, Evaluator
Vincent Truett, Evaluator