Every day, giant barges sailing on inland waterways across the Netherlands release large amounts of toxic and carcinogenic fumes in a process known as degassing. It happens after a shipment of oil or chemicals is delivered, where the toxic fumes that remain in the tanks are blown out to clean the tanks for the next load.
The toxic fumes from degassing make crew members sick — they report headaches, fevers, and red eyes — and pose a significant risk to public health and the environment where the fumes are emitted.
The Dutch government is supposed to have banned toxic emissions from ships on inland routes — for more than 10 years now. But government regulators have claimed that they needed to wait on European regulations to be approved before they can act.
Recent research and analysis shows this isn’t true: the Dutch government is free to act now, and it must, given its responsibilities under treaties that mandate protection of human rights and environment.
Sign the petition today to call on the Dutch government to act NOW to stop toxic shipping emissions and protect our health and the environment.
Business.gov.nl. 27 January 2023.
NL Times. 23 January 2023.
Erasmus University Rotterdam. 23 January 2023.