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Carl M. Adema, Anthony T. Rodriguez, and Christopher H.


Minimizing Environmental Impacts on Naval Forces:

RDT&E Strategy for Environmental Systems Cross-Fleet

ABSTRACT maintenance and logistics support through

interchangeable components; and minimizing
International, national, and local laws environmental-related manning and training
and regulations restrict waste discharges from requirements for similar systems across different
Navy ships and submarines, creating significant platforms.
space and manning burdens, health and safety The Office of the Chief of Naval
risks, waste offload and disposal costs, and Operations and the Naval Sea Systems
worldwide reliance on shoreside support Command (NAVSEA) are sponsoring RDT&E
infrastructure. Shipboard environmental in several crucial areas under the Shipboard
problems can also interrupt operations and Waste Management Program directed at Fleet-
training exercises, jeopardize readiness, and wide environmental solutions. Shipboard
adversely affect relations with environmental environmental systems commonality is being
authorities, allied navies, host countries, and maximized through the intelligent incorporation
environmental advocacy groups. Environmental of commercial products and standards, emphasis
issues are becoming more acute as the Fleet on scalability and modularity, and the
operates increasingly in littoral areas and in application of open-architecture design
internationally designated areas where processes. There are different approaches for
environmental constraints are particularly strict. achieving commonality depending on the classes
All Navy vessels have similar basic of ships involved, specific waste(s), ships
environmental needs, regardless of platform and operating profiles, applicable environmental
mission differences. This suggests that the key regulations, and other factors. The type and
to minimizing the Fleets environmental degree of commonality will by driven by the
compliance costs and to maximizing its realities of development and implementation
operational flexibility is to standardize resources, schedules, and tradeoffs as much as
shipboard environmental systems across the by design and engineering principles. The
widest range of vessels possible. Shipboard Navys development of solid waste processing
environmental systems commonality will have equipment during the 1990s and the current
important total-ownership-cost and operational development of oily waste membrane treatment
benefits for naval forces by: standardizing the systems offer contrasting strategies for achieving
allocation and design of shipboard spaces for commonality in shipboard environmental
environmental systems; reducing the systems.
proliferation of different ship environmental
solutions; reducing acquisition costs through INTRODUCTION
centrally-procured environmental equipment and
system upgradeability; simplifying installation Navy combatant ships and submarines
with modular hardware and standard are very different from commercial cargo and
compartment interfaces; reducing procurement passenger ships. Most of the differences arise
and logistics costs by ensuring multiple because Navy vessels are designed to fight wars
(competitive) suppliers and minimizing the and to convincingly convey that capability
variety of spare parts; facilitating efficient during peacetime. Navy warships and
configuration management; simplifying submarines are only large enough to hold the
weapons, combat systems, propulsion systems, A growing, more coordinated, and
hull, mechanical, and electrical (HM&E) increasingly influential international
equipment, and crew needed to carry out their environmental advocacy community.
military missions. Until the 1970s, there was The increasing costs and political risks
little impetus to seriously consider pollution of offloading wastes from Navy vessels in
abatement as a significant design or mission U.S. and especially foreign ports for local
requirement for several reasons: disposal.
The Navy Fleet constituted a very small The unacceptable shipboard safety, health,
portion of the worlds and even U.S. and morale impacts of holding larger
shipping, and thus contributed relatively volumes of wastes as legal discharge
little to overall marine pollution problems. restrictions have intensified.
Deck space was too valuable, in terms of The greater environmental awareness and
monetary cost and operational priorities, concern of each new generation of Sailors.
to allocate significant shipboard space to
holding or treating wastes. Environmental Driver
Holding wastes on board ship introduced
additional safety, health, sanitation, and Environmental issues can create serious
morale concerns to an already hazardous operational problems and cost implications for
and demanding working and living the Fleet, ranging from delays in new vessel
environment. shock testing due to the proximity of legally-
The crews were busy with warfighting, protected marine animals, to diverting ships
ship operation and maintenance, and from littoral waters where they are operating to
training duties and had little time to discharge wastes in the open ocean. Over the
devote to waste management chores. last two decades, the Navy has increasingly
Relatively little was known then about the incorporated environmental considerations into
impacts of wastes discharged at sea on the its ship design processes and operating
marine environment. principles. Environmental compliance,
In recognition of the above constraints, the including anticipated requirements that will
Navy typically was exempt from the apply to existing and new vessels over their
environmental laws and regulations lifetimes, is now a top-level operational
applied to the commercial maritime sector. requirement for new ship and submarine
Except for the last two items above, these designs, routinely appearing in program
concerns are no less valid today. In fact, the documents (Mission Needs Statement (MNS),
Fleet is busier now than during the Cold War, Operational Requirements Document (ORD),
ships and submarines are even more costly, and solicitation, etc.) for a new platform. For
manpower constitutes an increasing proportion example, the solicitation for the Zumwalt
of the Fleets operating budget. Nevertheless, (DD 21) Class design program requires
five trends over the last 25 years caused the environmental compliance for design,
Navy to place greater emphasis on its Fleet modernization, and disposal, as well as an
environmental objectives: Environmental, Safety, and Health (ESH)
The growing willingness of environmental evaluation. The ORD for the new T-AKE Class
legislators and regulators to withhold states that it will conduct operations, in port
traditional national-security exemptions and at sea, in such a manner as to minimize
from the Navy and to actually target the adverse impact on the marine environmentThe
Navy for new environmental ship will be compliant with all applicable
requirements. environmentalregulations, Navy policies,
The worldwide expansion of U.S. international agreements, and industry
peacetime naval operations that raise the standards. The Programmatic Environmental,
visibility and increase the littoral presence Safety, and Health Evaluation (PESHE) for the
of ships and submarines. T-AKE Class says that the ships will meet or
exceed environmental regulations and policies Protection of the marine environment is
for ten years after delivery and will minimize mission essential. Navy ships shall conduct
adverse environmental impacts over its life- operations, in port and at sea, minimizing or
cycle. Although this new support ship is not eliminating any adverse impact on the marine
representative of the Navys typical surface environment. Although the Office of the Chief
combatant in terms of crew size, waste volumes of Naval Operations provides overall
generated, and mission profile, it reflects the compliance guidance in this instruction, each
seriousness with which life-cycle environmental NAVSEA program office must evaluate the
considerations are being incorporated into new applicability and impacts of environmental laws,
ship designs. regulations, and treaties for its platforms and
The Secretary of Defenses 2001 Annual formulate an appropriate implementation plan
Report to the President and the Congress states within TOC and schedule constraints. The
that standards for ship pollution Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations
require DoD to design ships that strictly control and Environment) is in the process of clarifying
their discharges of waste and that ...ship Fleet environmental compliance requirements in
designs for the LPD 17, the DD 21, and response to recent environmental problems
auxiliary cargo ships emphasize minimizing encountered during at-sea exercises and training.
discharges to ensure global access to ports. The Navys intent to comply with environmental
DoD Directive 5000.1, The Defense laws, regulations, executive orders, and
Acquisition System, of 23 October 2000 international agreements is clear. Exactly what
requires program managers of all acquisition the environmental requirements are, however, is
programs to give full consideration to, among not always so definitive, especially their
other things, environmental, safety, and implications for the design, operation,
occupational health factors as they try to modernization, and disposal of each Navy ship
optimize total system performance and minimize and submarine. Furthermore, institutionalizing
total ownership cost (TOC). Interim Regulation an environmental decision-making process that
DoD 5000.2-R on Mandatory Procedures for encompasses the entire life cycle of a Navy
Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) vessel and recognizes the myriad tradeoffs
and Major Automated Information System involved remains a challenge in the face of
(MAIS) Acquisition Programs of 4 January warfighting-driven design traditions.
2001 states that a system design shall be capable
of being tested, operated, maintained, repaired, Acquisition Strategy
and disposed of in accordance with
environmental, safety, and health (ESOH) As environmental laws and regulations
statutes, regulations and policies and that ESOH increasingly curtail the types and amounts of
considerations shall be integrated into the wastes that can be discharged at sea, the
systems engineering process. It also states that prospects of retaining additional wastes on board
the users performance requirements that are and/or interrupting operations at sea to transport
being addressed by an acquisition program shall wastes to port or beyond restricted waters have
include environmental requirements and that focused Navy attention on more organic
TOC includes environmental costs. This DoD shipboard waste management capabilities. This,
acquisition guidance leaves no doubt that in turn, has resulted in environmental control
environmental compliance must be an integral systems becoming more significant parts of
part of the design and systems engineering ships and submarines. For example, the
process from life-cycle and TOC perspectives. development, acquisition, and Fleet-wide
The Navys afloat environmental installation of the suite of solid waste processing
requirements and guidance are documented equipment during the 1990s cost nearly $500M,
primarily in Chapter 19 (Environmental with every surface combatant from frigates on
Compliance Afloat) of OPNAVINST up receiving several pieces of equipment.
5090.1B (CH-2), Environmental and Natural Shipboard waste management has become much
Resource Protection Manual. This states that more than purchasing commercial trash
compactors or even installing holding tanks. construction and especially new-design vessels,
This requires consideration of the same design, and growing cost and manning pressures.
acquisition, and logistics principles used for There are several strategies for
major shipboard HM&E systems. Many aspects achieving environmental equipment and systems
of recent DoD acquisition guidelines that apply commonality. It is unlikely that any single one
to the development of weapons and other major will always be the preferred method because of
shipboard systems also directly or indirectly the need to adapt to changing Navy and joint
influence pollution control and other warfare visions, U.S. and allied Naval Force
environmental systems as they become more structure requirements, operational and
significant acquisition items. deployment scenarios, ship designs, technology
As the cost and shipboard space maturity and upgrade opportunities, acquisition
associated with pollution prevention and control rules, shipboard manning levels, and logistics
systems increase, it becomes more important to support paradigms.
avoid a multitude of class- and hull-specific Ship-to-ship variations in environmental
hardware, software, control systems, crew waste capabilities across a battle force can interrupt
management practices, and logistics support and delay operations and exercises while
requirements. The Navy must minimize the individual vessels leave station to discharge
escalation of the Fleets environmental-related wastes beyond discharge-restricted zones or
TOC while complying with environmental offload wastes in port according to specific
requirements. This is complicated by the fact shipboard constraints. With the Navy taking on
that different classes of Navy vessels have increased littoral and ground support warfighting
different missions, weapons and auxiliary responsibilities, this operational problem will
systems, configurations, arrangements, and crew become more pronounced in the future. A
sizes and they generate different types and unified environmental capability for a battle
amounts of wastes. They also differ in force minimizes the operational impacts of
deployment scenarios in terms of relative times environmental requirements, provides
spent in the open ocean, internationally- consistency for ship operators and crews, and
designated special areas, littoral waters, and encourages the adoption of realistic
port. environmental requirements for naval vessels in
Shipboard pollution control systems can the area of international law and practice.
sometimes be standardized across several hull
types or throughout the entire Fleet, while at FLEET ENVIRONMENTAL
other times a one-size-fits-all approach is not
technically appropriate. The Navys primary
challenge is to provide each vessel with waste
Navy ships and submarines are subject
management capabilities that fully comply with
to a wide variety of laws, regulations, and
all applicable existing and projected
policies that directly or indirectly influence how
environmental requirements while reducing the
their wastes must be managed. These influences
proliferation of platform-unique solutions that
range from a specific prohibition on the
require different shipboard locations and
overboard discharge of a certain type of waste
arrangements, operator and maintenance
within a set distance from land, to the high cost
training, logistics support, crew waste handling
of handling and disposal of an offloaded waste
procedures, and residual waste disposal
considered hazardous, to top-level DoD and
requirements. Shipboard environmental systems
Navy commitments to preserve and enhance the
commonality across the Fleet will provide
marine environment. A wide variety of U.S.
substantial benefits to the Fleet and to the Navy
laws and regulations apply to naval vessels, as
as a whole. It must be tempered, though, by the
highlighted in Table 1. These environmental
realities of the availability and suitability of
requirements range from the very high-level
commercial products over time, the lure of
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and
technology-insertion opportunities for new-
Executive Order 12114, which require the Navy
TABLE 1. Major Laws and Other Legal Requirements Applicable to Navy Vessels

Solid Liquid Air Hazardous Other

Source of Environmental Requirements Wastes Wastes Emissions Materials Issues
Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships
Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act
Endangered Species Act
Marine Mammal Protection Act
Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act
National Environmental Policy Act
Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act
Coastal Zone Management Act
Oil Pollution Act
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Toxic Substances Control Act
U.S. Public Vessel Medical Waste Anti-Dumping Act
Executive Order 12088 (Federal pollution standards)
Executive Order 12114 (environmental effects abroad)
Executive Order 12843 (Federal procurement requirements)
Executive Order 13089 (coral reef protection)
Executive Order 13101 (greening the government)
Executive Order 13112 (invasive species)
Executive Order 13148 (greening the government)
Executive Order 13158 (marine protected areas)
State and local laws and regulations
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution
from Ships (MARPOL 73/78)
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone
Foreign-country laws, regulations, and policies (SOFAs)
DoD and Navy directives and instructions

to assess the potential environmental existing environmental requirements, there are

consequences of proposed actions that could several emerging legislative and regulatory
affect the quality of the environment, to the very developments with important implications for
topic-specific Executive Order 13089 on the legacy Fleet and all future platforms,
protecting coral reefs. including:
The annual National Defense New Environmental Protection Agency
Authorization Act is one legislative vehicle used (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality
to target DoD and the Navy for new Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and
environmental requirements. For example, this particulates.
law was used to amend the Clean Water Act in A proposed annex under MARPOL 73/78
FY94 and FY97 to impose solid waste discharge that would restrict blackwater discharges
restrictions on the Navy Fleet and in FY96 to within 12 nm of land.
create a new DoD-wide program to regulate the
discharge of liquid wastes from vessels within
12 nm of the U.S. In addition to complying with
An anticipated annex under MARPOL In 1989, recognizing that Navy ships
73/78 that would cover air emissions from and submarines must be able to travel in any
shipboard engines and incinerators. body of water and visit any port worldwide, the
An anticipated annex under MARPOL Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)
73/78 that would seek to prevent the formulated a vision for the environmentally
spread of non-indigenous species sound ship of the 21st century (ESS-21). This
inadvertently carried by ocean-going vision now encompasses several thrusts for the
vessels. design and operation of new ships:
The CWAs Uniform National Discharge Ships should be able to operate in U.S.,
Standards (UNDS) that will require foreign, and international waters without
shipboard Marine Pollution Control degradation of mission or quality of life
Devices (MPCDs) for 25 liquid attributable to environmental laws and
discharges. regulations.
Expanding protections for marine animals Ships should cause no significant adverse
(whales, sea turtles, etc.) under the Marine environmental impacts.
Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Ships must be designed and operated to
Species Act. minimize waste generation.
As environmental laws are reauthorized and Wastes should be treated or destroyed on
amended and as new implementing regulations board to the extent practicable.
are promulgated, the Navy can face new and Waste-related logistics cost and shore
unexpected environmental compliance issues. dependence should be minimized.
The Navy routinely predicts future military The vision focuses on new-design ships and
threats against which it must plan Fleet submarines that will operate well into this
operations and new ship designs, but forecasting century. These new platforms offer the greatest
environmental requirements based on legal and opportunity to integrate advanced waste
regulatory developments is fraught with management technologies, minimize ship space
uncertainty. devoted to pollution control, and reduce the
DoD and Navy directives and manning burden of sorting and handling wastes.
instructions implement the various legal To achieve the CNO vision, designers and naval
requirements and apply other environmental architects must consider environmental
policies that go beyond the laws and regulations. compliance as a top level design requirement
For example, OPNAVINST 5090.1B (CH-1) commensurate with military priorities. New-
requires ships to hold and bring back hazardous design platforms are the primary focus of the
materials even though the Clean Water Act ESS-21 vision because they provide the clean
prohibits discharge only within 200 nm. DoD slate needed for the most revolutionary
5000.2-R integrates environmental approaches to environmental compliance.
considerations into the acquisition process by However, ships being constructed to an existing
requiring, for example: inclusion of design, and even some existing ships, can adopt
environmental requirements among users evolutionary environmental improvements. The
performance requirements; definition of the ESS-21 vision has become even more relevant in
environmental compliance portion of TOC; the last few years as the Navy Fleet has been
integration of environmental, safety, and health tasked with expanding peacetime
considerations into the systems engineering responsibilities that involve increased presence
process (through a PESHE that must be updated in littoral waters and foreign ports, where
throughout the systems life cycle); compliance discharges are either prohibited or generate local
with ESOH statutes, regulations, and policies resistance.
during testing, operation, maintenance, and There was a time when Navy shipboard
repair; hazardous materials waste management was largely an afterthought.
elimination/reduction; and pollution prevention. For example, ships purchased their own
commercial trash compactors (that proved to be
short lived on warships) and the Navy backfit discharge-restricted area to release waste in
holding tanks for blackwater that was discharged international waters, but not when it is part of a
beyond certain distances from shore. Pollution naval force or when it is providing shore
control and other environmental systems are not support. Ships and submarines typically employ
mission-critical in the sense that weapons, a combination of several strategies to comply
propulsion, and HM&E systems are vital for with environmental restrictions on waste
warfighting and for vessel and crew safety. discharge at sea:
Over the last 25 years, the Navy has become Discharge raw or treated wastes overboard
subject to more diverse and stricter where allowed by laws and regulations.
environmental-related requirements, which Hold raw or treated wastes where
range from legislative and regulatory restrictions practicable for overboard discharge
on overboard waste discharges to more general (where allowed) or return to shore.
Navy ship design and shipboard systems Destroy wastes on board, with discharge
engineering practices. This has elevated or return-to-shore of minimal processing
environmental compliance and engineering to residues.
the mission visibility level, as reflected in the These waste management strategies are
top-level operational requirements for new- represented in Figure 1. While this would seem
design platforms (LPD 17, CVN 77, DD 21, to provide some flexibility in outfitting ships
CVN(X), JCC(X), etc.). Ship designers and and submarines with pollution control
builders must now consider life-cycle pollution capabilities, these options are constrained by
control and other environmental requirements at numerous factors, including:
the earliest stages of ship and system design to Distance-from-shore and area-wide
ensure that new platforms are not already out of restrictions on overboard discharges.
compliance when they enter service. Operational factors (mission, location,
time on station, readiness requirements,
FLEET ENVIRONMENTAL safety and health risks, etc.).
COMPLIANCE Vessel size and manning limitations.
Suitability of waste processing equipment
In addition to legal and policy for the demanding Navy shipboard
requirements that dictate how an individual ship environment (ship motion, shock,
or submarine should manage its wastes, the role vibration, electromagnetic compatibility,
of that vessel in an operational context also signatures, etc.)
influences the capabilities and procedures Availability and cost of adequate
employed. For example, it may be appropriate shoreside offload and disposal facilities.
for a ship operating or transiting alone to leave a

Process /


& Collect


Return to

FIGURE 1. Navy Shipboard Waste Management Options

This introduces complexity from ship CROSS-FLEET COMMONALITY
design, technology implementation, and Fleet
operational perspectives. The Fleet prefers to Navy ships and submarines need
train the way it fights, so altering the way a environmental systems and practices that
ship manages its wastes in response to changing comply with legal requirements and enhance
environmental requirements as the ship moves operational effectiveness and flexibility. These
from blue water, to littoral areas, to ports, to the systems and practices should:
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitate the mission of surface ships and
designated special areas introduces an element submarines by enabling operations in
of uncertainty and can lead to changing U.S., international, and foreign waters, as
treatment requirements and manpower required well as access to U.S. and foreign ports,
to collect, handle, process, and store wastes. A without restrictions and/or additional costs
vessels crew must know the ship's location to associated with environmental laws,
ascertain the discharge restrictions that are in regulations, or policies and without other
force and what shipboard waste management significant compromises.
procedures the crew will have to perform. The Minimize the environmental-related total
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations has ownership cost (TOC) of Fleet vessels
published and distributes to the Fleet the whiz through planned and coordinated tradeoffs
wheel to assist vessel Commanding Officers among the life-cycle phases of the
and crews in determining their location-specific vessel/system (design and development,
waste handling requirements. Nevertheless, procurement, operations and maintenance,
there is the potential for confusion and for modernization, and disposal).
improper waste management practices.
Enhance shipboard safety, health, and
Ideally, every ship and submarine would
quality of life for Sailors.
have shipboard waste management practices and
These objectives may not always be compatible,
systems that could be used regardless of
e.g., where the installation of waste processing
geographic location. Hence, there would be no
equipment is associated with additional manning
risk of discharging something overboard where
and (processed) waste holding. One approach
it is not allowed, vessels would not have to
for meeting these objectives while minimizing
consider moving from restricted to unrestricted
the associated burden and cost to the Fleet is to
waters to discharge, and crews would not have
make environmental systems and procedures
to contend with accumulating wastes on board.
uniform throughout the Fleet. Such
The best way to address these uncertainties
commonality cannot be achieved haphazardly,
would be to have unmanned waste processing
but must be driven by a farsighted and
systems that run continuously, regardless of
coordinated NAVSEA corporate strategy. It
the ships location or operational status. For
should involve all elements of the naval
example, Navy surface ships are required by law
community and encompass all phases of the ship
to operate their new solid waste pulpers and
life cycle (design, construction, operation, and
shredders only near shore and in the MARPOL
in-effect special areas, but the Navy has
committed to operating this waste processing
equipment. There is a need to standardize
Commonality As Part of Acquisition
shipboard environmental systems and Guidance
capabilities across the Fleet as much as possible
to bring that Fleet-wide vision closer to reality The word commonality appears only
and to achieve operational, compliance, human four times in the 155-page DoD 5000.2-R
interface, and cost benefits. (Mandatory Procedures for MDAPs and MAIS
Acquisition Programs). Although this might
imply that commonality is not an important
acquisition concept, it is mentioned in the
critical areas of analysis of alternatives (AoA),
modeling and simulation, open systems design, aspects of ship design, construction, and
and interoperability through standardization. operation, including:
Commonality does not appear at all in the Global legal environmental requirements.
latest versions of DoD Directive 5000.1 (The Military mission and operational
Defense Acquisition System) and DoD requirements.
Instruction 5000.2 (Operation of the Defense Technology, design, and engineering.
Acquisition System). Nevertheless, the concept Source of systems and equipment
of commonality pervades these acquisition rules (commercial, navalized commercial,
and guidance through several programmatic Navy-developed).
thrusts, including performance-based Installation and arrangement.
requirements, time-phased requirements driven Performance and system-to-ship
by projected threat assessments and technology, interfaces.
open systems engineering, modularity, Human interfaces (equipment operation,
interoperability, planned upgrades, evolutionary training, etc.).
acquisition (blocks), priority consideration of
System monitoring and control.
commercial products and standards, logistics
Configuration management.
supportability, and competitive sourcing.
Commonality can provide major Worldwide logistics support.
acquisition benefits in several areas. Commonality amongst Navy shipboard
Performance requirements combined with space pollution abatement systems has been in place
and arrangement surveys of several ship classes for decades. At a very basic level of
can facilitate open-architecture system designs commonality, blackwater collection, holding and
that establish standardized dimensions, ship transfer (CHT) systems on surface ships use
service connections, and technology refreshment standardized valves and connections so that
strategies based on upgradable commercial wastewater can be transferred to any pierside
components. Modular or scalable systems can receiving facility either directly or through
allow the same technology to be used on a rafted ships alongside each other. The Navy-
variety of ships, reducing training requirements designed 10NP oil/water separator (OWS) is
and simplifying shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship used on most surface combatants to remove bulk
logistics support. The greater the degree of oil from bilgewater prior to discharge. Identical
commonality, especially in terms of large pulpers installed on larger ships grind
commercial-based open design, the stronger is paper, cardboard, and food for overboard
both the competition and the industrial base. In discharge. Standardized hazardous materials
short, maximizing environmental systems inventory management tools and handling
commonality is an excellent way to help meet guidelines are implemented throughout the
acquisition objectives while complying with Fleet. Standardized equipment in these areas
todays laws and regulations and establishing a has enabled ships of different classes to retain
framework for meeting tomorrows similar capability and a high degree of
environmental requirements with minimal interoperability. However, emerging
disruption to shipboard life. environmental regulations will further curtail
overboard waste discharges and require
secondary waste treatment, and possibly
What is Environmental Systems
tertiary treatment or destruction, to achieve
Commonality? discharge or environmental quality criteria. This
will result in additional shipboard environmental
Commonality is not a simple or fixed
equipment that will exacerbate the costs and
concept in a naval context. In a broad sense,
burden of Fleet environmental compliance. The
commonality refers to the degree to which the
development and implementation of shipboard
environmental protection capabilities of ships
environmental systems can address commonality
and ship systems are similar in form, fit, and
through careful application of everyday design
function. This encompasses many different
and engineering principles plus a variety of tools
that the Navy is now bringing to bear upon all The full consideration of commonality
shipboard systems, including open system opportunities spans all levels of ship and Fleet
architecture (OSA), modularity, condition-based architecture (see Figure 2): component,
maintenance (CBM), engineering for reduced subsystem, system, platform, and battle force.
maintenance (ERM), and distance support. Commonality will not always have to be
There is even a Fleet operational element of established at every architecture level for a
commonality for example, the Navy operates particular waste or system, but the feasibility,
its shipboard solid waste processing equipment requirements, benefits, and costs of
everywhere, thereby avoiding any possible commonality at each level should be evaluated.
confusion about where to operate this equipment
and simplifying training requirements.


Marine Animals
Garbage System
Hazardous Materials
Platform Air Emissions

Plastics Paints & Coatings

Other Liquid Discharges
Bilgewater -- Deck runoff
-- Chain locker effluent
Blackwater Graywater -- Elevator pit effluent
-- 20 others

Figure 2. Environmental Systems Commonality and Fleet Architecture

BATTLE FORCE LEVEL (CROSS- possible without disruption to on-going

PLATFORM) COMMONALITY operations. Naval operations in support of low-
level conflicts and joint training exercises still
If the vessels within a battle force do not require full maritime environmental compliance
have the same environmental capability, for all wastes including sewage, oily wastes,
operations may have to be modified to solid and medical wastes, and hazardous
accommodate a specific vessels inability to materials. Fleet-wide environmental
comply with the prevailing environmental performance standards will enable equitable
regulations. For example, during littoral environmental capability across a battle force
peacekeeping missions and training operations, a such that operations are not interrupted or
vessel that does not have sewage treatment impeded by environmental regulations and
capability (nearly all surface ships) must pull off differing capabilities by vessel class. Common
station every few hours to discharge sewage performance standards coupled to common
beyond a legally specified distance from shore, interface specifications for the Fleets pollution
as governed by foreign and domestic regulations abatement systems will not only enable uniform
for those territorial waters. Such actions disrupt vessel environmental capability but also offer
battle force operations and result in additional promise of compliance at a lower total cost.
costs and crew burden. In contrast, most ships
have been outfitted with standardized OWSs
such that onboard processing of bilgewater is
Although pollution abatement
commonality can exert a measurable impact on Although the environmental and TOC
Navy vessel ownership costs, its roots begin drivers for commonality become evident at the
with the decisions made during the design and battle force and platform levels, pollution
acquisition phases of a vessel and continue to be abatement commonality is developed,
manifested through the operation, upgrade, and engineered and implemented at the systems level
disposal phases of the life cycle. With the onset of ship design. Performance specifications,
of acquisition reform and innovative ship service critical interface specifications, and qualification
arrangements, special attention must be paid to testing (verification) are the tools needed to
retaining a uniform level of platform describe a pollution abatement or prevention
environmental performance while maximizing system. Regardless of the state of the art for any
industrial competition and the insertion, where technology, ranging from commercial-off-the-
appropriate, of commercial innovation and shelf (COTS) to Navy developmental, the
practice. However, the application of application of performance and interface
performance specifications alone across the specifications to the acquisition process will
Fleet cannot achieve a uniform level of result in the level of commonality that is optimal
compliance without a significant increase in cost for the Navy. Navy-specified performance and
as driven by the life cycle of varied industrial testing requirements ensure that a vendor or
equipment, processes, and logistics software that shipbuilder delivers an acceptable product. A
might be available for the Navys consideration. high degree of commonality in cross-Fleet
Only the coupling of environmental performance environmental capability, compartment design,
specifications with the description and and vendor competition can be achieved by
management of critical shipboard interface holding the performance and critical interface
specifications will ensure a degree of specifications constant throughout the
commonality within a class of ships that can be acquisition of a ship and applying these same
held nearly constant across the Fleet. At the requirements and specifications across vessel
platform level, a common functional capability classes as much as possible.
must be established and specified to attain a For example, Navy ship design practice
uniform environmental capability at the battle has evolved common bilge handling and
group level. Some platform level requirements management techniques and reflects a recent
are easily quantified, such as the requirement to trend to minimize the volume of bilgewater
not discharge any oily water containing more generated as a pollution prevention strategy. In
than 15 ppm of oil. Other requirements, practice, all platforms must implement the same
however, are more difficult to articulate, such as functional capability for bilgewater
compliance with changing laws and regulations management. All ships have bilgewater
governing vessel interactions with protected management systems composed of bilge
marine animals (whales, sea turtles, etc.). In pockets, bilge and oil (B&O) plumbing, oily
either case, a uniform and common set of waste holding tank, waste oil tank, an oil/water
environmental requirements, objectives, and separator, and associated damage control or
thresholds for every platform in the Fleet, engineering remote displays. Common
coupled with common and demonstrated compartment designs and modules can be
environmental functional capabilities, will employed using uniform performance
enable affordable environmental compliance requirements and interfaces to provide the
into the 21st century. Achieving such affordable platform with the required capability. These
future environmental compliance necessitates uniform requirements and interface
commonality at the next lower (system) level of specifications can be readily applied to different
ship design, in addition to a common set of flights of the same platform, in addition to
operational requirements (goals, objectives, and different platforms, at reduced acquisition and
thresholds) to guide new ships construction. life-cycle logistic support cost. In the case of an
OWS, for example, critical interface cohesive naval force. Equivalent environmental
specifications are detailed such that backfit functional capability and common
installations are not unique to every ship class. environmental systems will ensure that the
Three sizes of a new secondary oily waste readiness of each vessel in the battle force can
treatment system are being developed for be maintained so that rapid response is not
surface ships that will, through performance and compromised by a particular waste management
interface specifications, yield a high degree of evolution, by having to apply disproportionate
Fleet commonality and a reduced logistics manpower to environmental-related activities, or
burden to the Navy while maintaining by vessel- or class-unique logistics support
commercial competition and design innovation. needs.
The construction of multiple flights of a There is growing interest in tiered port
platform, e.g., the DDG 51 Class, can lead to the entry/support fees in some foreign countries
reissuing of equipment contracts to various based on the environmental capabilities of
vendors for the pollution abatement equipment. visiting ships. Should such cost preferences be
The application of performance requirements extended to naval vessels, especially if some sort
and critical interface specifications to this of vessel certification was required, it would
contracting process will result in a greater level be imperative that U.S. Navy ships possess
of Fleet commonality, as well as increased environmental systems commonality. This will
commercial competition and reduced acquisition ensure that U.S. vessels operating together are
and installation costs. Other common not charged different fees and/or have different
compartment-level designs include sewage port restrictions imposed on them that reflect
pump rooms, solid waste processing their different environmental capabilities. This
compartments, hazardous material control could be especially troublesome where foreign
centers, and flammable material storage lockers. naval vessels that are part of an international
operation or exercise qualify for preferred status.
Why Is Commonality a Good Thing? In the worst case, one or more U.S. vessels
within a naval force could conceivably be denied
Shipboard environmental systems port entry. Shipboard environmental systems
commonality will provide measurable and commonality is an essential component of the
intangible benefits in three areas: military Navys development of new self-regulation
mission and ship operations; total ownership paradigms, whereby the Navy seeks relief from
cost; and safety, health, and quality of life (see inconsistent regulatory requirements in different
Table 2). states and ports through the promulgation of
national environmental standards that reflect
MILITARY MISSION AND what can be reasonably and practicably achieved
OPERATIONS on warships. The most visible of these self-
regulation programs is the recent UNDS
From the standpoint of a deployed naval provisions of the Clean Water Act, which
force, especially a joint or Allied force, it is established a rulemaking process between DoD
important that ships and submarines have and EPA for shipboard MPCDs for liquid
worldwide access to international and littoral discharges (other than blackwater) from Navy
waters without having to interrupt operations or and other DoD vessels. This rulemaking
exercises to transfer wastes at sea or in port or program was modeled on the Clean Water Act
discharge accumulating wastes outside of provisions for sewage (blackwater) generated on
environmentally restricted areas. Similar waste DoD vessels, which allowed DoD to set its own
holding and treatment capabilities across the discharge standards and identify a limited
various vessels involved will minimize the number of shipboard control approaches (Marine
frequency of such interruptions and the steaming Sanitation Devices, MSDs) for meeting these
hours devoted to waste management excursions, standards. The Navy must be able to
and will provide the flexibility to operate in demonstrate Fleet-wide solutions to waste
international, regional, and littoral waters as a management and other environmental issues to
TABLE 2. Major Benefits of Shipboard Environmental Systems Commonality

Military Mission and Operations

Facilitate environmental system/performance compliance and/or certification for access to regulated waters &
Minimize interruptions to operations & exercises to transfer or discharge wastes
Minimize ship-to-ship disparities in environmental-related readiness or manning
Enhance interoperability & standardization at sea & in port
Simplify logistics support (especially at battle force level)
Minimize risk that different vessels will be treated differently by foreign regulatory agencies or port authorities
Support new Navy self-regulation paradigms (e.g., Uniform National Discharge Standards)
Total Ownership Cost
Reduce acquisition cost by maximizing competition, achieving economies of scale, avoiding sole-
source/proprietary risks, enabling centralized procurement, streamlining procurement procedures &
Simplify design & configuration management through single or limited number of designs & open system
Minimize number of installation configuration, arrangement, & guidance/documentation variations
Normalize maintenance procedures, documentation, & skill/education levels across Fleet
Simplify logistics support by reducing range of supported systems & associated spares, allowing cost-efficient
volume purchasing of spares, enabling cross-platform sharing, etc.
Reduce cost & complexity of system upgrades (at least within a hull class)
Improve projections of and confidence in system performance, reliability, & maintainability
Potentially lower port entry costs for environmentally certified vessels
Reduce type and scale of required shoreside waste offload/disposal capabilities
Increase Navys return-on-investment by ensuring widest application of proven environmental system
throughout Fleet
Accelerate development of remote monitoring & distance support concepts
Reduce permitting & cost barriers to vessel scrapping
Safety, Health, and Quality of Life
Reduce safety & health risks by minimizing ship-to-ship environmental system hardware & control variations
& using common human interface
Reduce training/retraining requirements (especially inter-deployment burden) by minimizing platform-specific
system operating & maintenance variations
Provide more time for primary rating by reducing environmental-related collateral duties
Reduce shipboard workload devoted to waste management & other environmental compliance
Reduce risk of shipboard experimentation with untested/unproven equipment

garner the support needed from Congress, the requires careful analyses and trade-offs across a
Administration, other Federal agencies, and the vessels projected life cycle, from concept
states to craft and implement national development to disposal. There are many
environmental standards that apply specifically variables to consider and many opportunities to
to Navy vessels throughout all U.S. waters. compare costs and savings that could be
encountered while the vessel is being designed,
TOTAL OWNERSHIP COST built, operated, maintained/upgraded, and
disposed of. The TOC analysis may, for
New ships and submarines are being example, indicate that up-front investments in
designed and procured on the basis of pollution abatement and other environmental
performance specifications and TOC. This systems are warranted to meet anticipated
environmental requirements over the life of the Navy is having to focus more attention on
vessel, relying on future cost avoidances to quality-of-life and other Sailor-retention issues,
offset the higher costs incurred today. so it is becoming even more important to
A high degree of environmental systems minimize the environmental management
commonality will have significant payoffs burden on ships force. Shipboard waste
during the acquisition phase because it will management is often a collateral duty that takes
promote commercial competition, minimize the Sailor away from his primary functions. Not
exposure to sole-source supply constraints, and only are waste sorting, collection, and handling
provide procurement efficiencies (technical duties typically unpleasant, but in times of
documentation applicable to an entire class or significant manning reductions, they are an
more than one class, reduced contract added responsibility for the Sailor.
administration burden, contract options for Environmental equipment and systems should
additional units, etc.). The more vessels in a share similar designs, configurations, and
class and the more classes that can be covered arrangements within a class or, hopefully,
by a particular environmental system, the greater throughout the Fleet. Procedures for their
the cost savings (avoidance) that will accrue. A operation and maintenance will reflect diverse
single or very limited number of environmental experience on different platforms and in
system designs, especially where open-system different operating scenarios, thereby providing
architecture (OSA) is applied to environmental Sailors with standardized and familiar
system design, will also simplify Fleet-wide environmental responsibilities from ship to ship.
installation, configuration management, logistics For example, the design, technical
support, and environmental capability ugrades. documentation, and logistics support for several
Other benefits were identified in Table 2. solid waste processing machines developed by
It is important to recognize, however, the Navy in the mid-90s and installed throughout
that the minimum TOC for an environmental the surface Fleet are identical on every ship.
system or capability may be attained only by Another example is the backfit kits the Navy
increasing a cost element at a particular phase of developed to convert shipboard air-conditioning
the vessels life cycle. For example, the cost of and refrigeration (AC&R) plants to use non-
the current backfit of the new Navy-developed chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, where the
oily waste ultrafiltration system on later DDG 51 opportunity was taken during design to automate
Class ships will not only ensure routine and standardize the plants monitoring and
compliance with todays oil discharge control subsystems using programmable logic
restrictions (thereby avoiding regulatory controllers (PLCs), thereby substantially
violations), but also compliance with anticipated reducing and simplifying the Sailors role in
lower discharge limits around the world (thereby efficiently operating and maintaining the plants.
avoiding the need to integrate and backfit more Another major benefit of environmental
advanced technology on these ships sometime in systems commonality is in the area of training.
the future). The Navy is exploring ways to reduce the
training burden on Sailors to reduce their
SAFETY, HEALTH, AND QUALITY OF workload at sea and in port. The Navy is
LIFE especially interested in reducing inter-
deployment training requirements to provide
The Navy recognizes that new Sailors Sailors with more personal time. Common
are more environmentally aware and concerned environmental systems within a vessel class and
than past generations and, indeed, an added across classes will eliminate different operator
component to the Navy's mission is a strong and maintenance training requirements for hull-
commitment to protecting the marine unique systems. For example, blackwater is
environment. There is enthusiasm on board managed on different surface ships by holding,
ships and submarines for minimizing the adverse incineration, or biological treatment; the
environmental impact of operating the vessel technological differences among these
and its various systems. On the other hand, the approaches to wastewater management are
reflected in their operation, maintenance, environmental problem and identify any
cleaning, and interfacing with other ship systems variations encountered on a single vessel or from
and, therefore, in associated Sailor training one vessel to another, both within a class and
requirements. Commonality will also make from one class to another. Numerous factors
distance support (remote equipment/system may have to be considered, depending on the
monitoring and maintenance planning) more nature of the environmental problem and
feasible. shipboard issues. Examples of Navy-side
variations can include:
How Do We Achieve Commonality? Vessel type and features (e.g., dry-bilge
design, large crew, available deck space).
Fleet environmental systems Unique shipboard systems (e.g., aircraft
commonality must be a major goal of ship and launch catapults) or maintenance/repair
ship systems design and acquisition processes. capabilities (e.g., hazardous materials used
The degree of commonality that can be attained for aircraft maintenance).
within a vessel class or across classes will Time of day (e.g., mealtime trash, peaks in
depend on several major factors, including: the use of toilets and showers, reduced
Whether the environmental system is to be visibility at night).
backfit, forward-fit onto new construction, Geographic location (e.g., increased use of
or incorporated into a new ship or air-conditioning and showers in hot
submarine design (e.g., a blackwater climates, waste discharge restrictions in
vacuum-collection system is not generally the internationally designated special
a practical backfit). areas, travel through whale breeding
The size, configuration, and arrangement areas).
of the system (e.g., a large modern thermal Mission (e.g., littoral peacekeeping,
destruction system for solid wastes that resupply, covert operations) and
incorporates automated materials deployment scenarios (underway time,
handling, staging, and preprocessing may distance from shore, ports visited).
be suitable for an aircraft carrier but not Weather and sea conditions (e.g., deck
for a small surface combatant). runoff, inclined operation of
The specific technology involved in terms environmental equipment).
of process and product, automation, Special hazards (e.g., storage of
manpower required, etc. (e.g., a solid ammunition, fuels, food supplies).
waste baler that produces large 1000-lb Survivability and damage control
bales of paper and cardboard that must be requirements(e.g., fire, flooding, and
mechanically lifted and stored on board is chemical, biological, and radiological
a manpower- and space-intensive waste (CBR) attack).
management option that could be Health and safety risks to crew.
considered only for large-deck ships). Access to shoreside waste offload and
The type and extent of interfacing with disposal capabilities.
other ship systems (e.g., a ship-wide New environmental issues associated
piping and pumping system to collect with new or upgraded weapons systems,
blackwater, graywater, and oily waste and HM&E equipment, or propulsion systems.
deliver these waste streams at appropriate Factors such as these are identified and
feed rates to a newly installed centralized evaluated to determine whether a one-size-fits-
incinerator would require extensive all mitigation approach to a particular
connections, compartment penetrations, environmental problem will work for the entire
and probably an incinerator fuel supply). Fleet or at least a single class of vessels, or
The first step in exploring the potential whether different variations or solutions are
for commonality in a shipboard environmental required according to vessel type, class, mission,
system is to thoroughly characterize the etc. For example, do sewage incinerators make
sense for both a surface combatant equipped equipment and systems wherever possible,
with a vacuum-CHT (VCHT) system that NAVSEA has always assessed industry products
generates 1,200 gallons/day of blackwater and and developmental programs in deciding
an aircraft carrier that could generate as much whether it is necessary to embark on in-house
180,000 gallons/day? Are the development of Navy-specific shipboard
cost/weight/complexity tradeoffs for CHT environmental solutions. Many NAVSEA
versus VCHT systems the same for all ship studies over the years have focused on or
classes? Can a solid waste incinerator that can considered surveys and assessments of
accommodate the quantity of trash generated on commercial markets. NAVSEAs experience
an aircraft carrier fit into a destroyer? Will the over several decades, however, has been that
relatively small projected manning for the COTS environmental equipment typically does
DD 21 Class demand a fundamentally different, not function reliably or is otherwise not well
multi-stream waste handling concept than the suited for use on Navy vessels. Nevertheless, a
waste management systems being implemented close examination of maritime and non-maritime
for DDG 51 Class new construction or the industry capabilities is always the starting point
LPD 17 Class? How can the Navy efficiently for defining what the Navy needs to do to solve
address shipboard environmental problems, in the Fleets environmental problems as
terms of avoiding the proliferation of class- or effectively and cost-efficiently as possible.
ship-unique environmental solutions, while In addition to the Navy-side factors
major decisions are pending for new propulsion identified above, the type and degree of
concepts (electric drive, ICR gas turbine, etc.) commonality that the Navy can achieve or
for future surface combatant classes, while new specify also depends on industry-side
missions (payloads, manning, increased littoral opportunities and constraints, including:
presence) are being contemplated for Commercial state of the art for land-based
submarines, and while Smart Ship successes and marine environmental technologies.
are being gradually transitioned into the Fleet? Projected private sector environmental
If different approaches appear to be required, R&D plans and schedules.
the challenge becomes to determine whether and Industry standards and specifications.
how the differences can be minimized to attain Industry interest in a limited Navy market
as much commonality as possible (such as and/or the commercial marketability of
through scale-up, modularity, or Navy-tailored environmental solutions.
decentralization). R&D programs and plans at other Federal
Fully characterizing a Fleet agencies.
environmental problem entails: Under todays DoD/Navy acquisition reform
Defining the Navys requirements in terms environment, NAVSEA is focusing on the
of mission and operations; environmental application or development of several important
laws, regulations, and policies; safety, RDT&E tools to explore and incorporate
health, and quality of life; and TOC. commonality for shipboard environmental
Pursuant to acquisition reform trends, systems, including:
establishing shipboard performance and Identification of industry products,
interface specifications for the capabilities, and technology developments
environmental solution. (e.g., through various types of
Identifying and analyzing the gap between announcements in the Commerce Business
the Navys needs and the commercial state Daily (CBD)), especially as they relate to
of the art (which encompasses vessels of actual or potential maritime applications.
the USCG, merchant fleet, allied navies, Navy laboratory and shipboard evaluation
and passenger cruise lines) in terms of and demonstration of commercial
technology, shipboard compatibility, and environmental components and systems.
cost. Development of Navy performance and
Even though acquisition reform interface specifications based on
guidance emphasizes the use of COTS
environmental laws and regulations, Fleet from different manufacturers and vendors
operational requirements, and technology (e.g., to avoid reliance on sole-source
readiness. supply of a critical component) (see
Open system architecture (OSA), wherein Figure 3).
the Navy decides for an environmental Exploration of quality-assurance/quality-
system the appropriate level to break the control (QA/QC) approaches for ensuring
system between a Navy-controlled side commonality of best management
(e.g., to ensure that compartment and practices aboard ship, e.g., a Navy
utility constraints on different ship classes Environmental Management System
do not create needless variants of the (EMS) based on internationally
overall system) and an open side that recognized EMS principles.
can accommodate competing components

Industry/Navy Defined Architecture

Standard Interfaces

Physical Interfaces:
Geometric [size, weight, CG]
Foundations, connections, piping, etc.
Functional Interfaces:
Power consumption
Cooling water and air flow
Data Interfaces, Control, Monitoring
Human Factors
Design Standards
Fatigue, corrosion, environmental Industry chooses the
OSA Concept Requires No GFE

FIGURE 3. Generic Open System Architecture (OSA) Design Approach for a Shipboard System

NAVSEAs shipboard environmental RDT&E addressing commonality for two Fleet

process is flexible enough, especially when environmental problems that involved different
supported by research sponsored by the Office legal drivers, acquisition rules, waste stream
of Naval Research (ONR), to identify and features, and industry capabilities.
develop the optimum Navy product for any
specific environmental need and to ready it for
transition to the Fleet. Several examples of
shipboard environmental systems commonality
achieved through NAVSEA RDT&E have been
presented earlier. There follows a brief
description of the different approaches taken in
ILLUSTRATIVE RDT&E specifically on Navy ships, whereby plastics
discharge was banned worldwide, but certain
APPROACHES TO physical forms of processed non-plastic trash
COMMONALITY could be discharged subject to the ships
distance from shore.
There is no single, best way to achieve In trying to identify suitable solid waste
environmental equipment/system commonality processing technologies for its ships, NAVSEA
across the Fleet. Because the Navy has such a had to consider several critical constraints:
wide variety of ships in terms of size, mission,
Extremely short, legislatively driven
space arrangements, manning, countries/ports
compliance deadlines for equipment
visited, etc., there is no master template that will
procurement and installation.
define the degree of commonality for a
particular environmental system or how to The different ship operations/deployment
achieve it. This is especially true because of the scenarios (e.g., typical underway time,
wide variety of environmental issues that the ability to hold waste, and time in
Navy has to address, including trash, liquid discharge-restricted waters).
effluents, hull antifouling coatings, protected The need for solid waste management
marine animals, hazardous materials, air solutions for all surface combatants, from
emissions, and shipboard paints. The following frigates to aircraft carriers.
two examples illustrate fundamentally different The widely varying capacities of ships to
strategies the Navy has employed to develop a hold solid wastes for offloading, and the
high degree of shipboard environmental system typical waste reception and disposal
commonality. facilities available in ports around the
Solid Waste Processing Equipment
The labor-intensive nature of shipboard
Navy ships generate substantial amounts solid waste collection and transport within
of solid wastes, primarily paper, cardboard, the ship and thus the need to minimize any
metal, glass, and plastics. The overall solid additional manning burden to sort,
waste volume is a function mainly of the number process, and handle wastes that were
of crew members. Ships cannot hold solid previously discharged overboard.
wastes for more than a few hours or days The shipboard space available for
(depending on the type of ship and operations) installing and operating solid waste
without introducing unacceptable space processing equipment on existing ships.
conflicts, fire risks, sanitation concerns The need and ability to process more than
(cleanliness, odor, etc.), or other quality-of-life one type of solid waste in a single
issues. During the 1980s and early 1990s, machine given the different materials,
NAVSEA thoroughly investigated commercial forms, sizes, food content, machinery
trash processing devices for reducing the volume requirements for size reduction, and
of solid wastes and determined that no processing and post-processing hazards
commercial products met all of the Navys for each.
demanding shipboard requirements. Naval
Significant safety, health, and quality-of-
vessels are exempt from MARPOL 73/78, which
life (sanitation, odor, etc.) implications of
through its Annex V imposed restrictions on the
holding and processing solid wastes.
discharge of solid wastes, but the Convention
requires signatory nations to ensure that their The need to minimize the cost of
public vessels comply to the extent reasonable procuring, installing, operating,
and practicable. Cooperation between maintaining, and logistically supporting
Congress and the Navy in implementing the solid waste processing systems.
MARPOL Annex V resulted in U.S. legislation After evaluating commercially available
that applied to solid waste management solid waste processing systems, NAVSEA
determined that a Navy-developed suite of solid Metal/Glass Shredder, and Plastics Waste
waste processing machines, based on Processor were chosen such that the smallest
conventional mechanical size-reduction ships wastes could be processed by a small
processes, offered the optimal balance among group of machines that would meet the ships
legal requirements, shipboard and operational space availability and manning constraints,
suitability, development and acquisition time, while the largest ships waste volume would not
and costs. Commonality was a major driver and require so many machines as to be impractical in
result of NAVSEAs deliberations. The solution terms of installation or cost. In all cases, the
was four small, self-contained processing capacity, reliability, and logistics support of the
machines that could meet the waste generation processing equipment had to be such that
rates and distributed locations needed by the full through some combination of redundancy,
range of ship sizes through multiple installations durability, and repairability, no ship would be
(see Figure 4). forced to hold unacceptable amounts of
The respective processing capabilities unprocessed trash or illegally discharge
and sizes of the Large Pulper, Small Pulper, unprocessed trash while underway.

FIGURE 4. Surface Fleet Solid Waste Processing Equipment (Large Pulper, Small Pulper,
Metal/Glass Shredder, and Plastics Waste Processor) Is Identical on Every Ship
For these solid waste processing
machines, commonality was achieved at several Oily Waste Treatment Systems
levels. At the level of the ships functional
environmental capability, a flexible suite of four There are several important differences
basic processing machines meets the diverse between solid wastes and oily wastes (primarily
solid waste management needs of every surface bilgewater) generated on Navy ships that relate
ship. At the system level, each ship class to the type of shipboard solution needed and,
receives as many of each machine as needed to therefore, to the nature of cross-platform
meet its waste generation rate. System-level commonality:
commonality across the Fleet is also derived Unlike solid wastes, bilgewater generation
from other features of NAVSEAs solution: is not directly related to crew size, but
The installation of whatever combination rather to the type of ship and the particular
of Large Pulpers and Small Pulpers is systems thereon.
needed to meet the ships pulpable-waste The discharge quality requirement is
generation rate and available deck space. driven by one overriding legal
The Large Pulper and Small Pulper are requirement: a worldwide maximum limit
geometrically similar and operated the of 15 ppm of oil.
These equipments are procured and Whereas Navy ships did not have solid
supported to Navy drawings. waste processing capabilities prior to the
development of the suite of equipment
In addition to these facets of commonality that described previously, all Navy surface
are external to the system, there are internal ships are already equipped with bulk oil
commonality features, including: separation technology (parallel-plate
The use on all machines of a common gravity OWSs).
PLC. The components of the Navy shipboard
The Plastics Waste Processor system itself solid waste stream have not changed
consists of four subsystems (Compress- significantly over the years, but the
Melt Units, Closed-Loop Cooling Units, change to gas-turbine propulsion over the
Plastics Shredders, and Heat Sealers) that last 20 years has resulted in significantly
can be combined in various ways to meet reduced bilgewater generation rates that,
target processing rates and space in turn, increases oil and contaminants
limitations. concentrations in the bilgewater. These
The Metal/Glass Shredder and Plastics higher oil concentrations, combined with
Shredder are identical designs, although the increased shipboard use of detergents
the same actual machine cannot be used and other oil-emulsifying substances that
alternately for both waste streams because end up in the bilges, degrade the operation
there is no practical way to remove all of the gravity OWSs to the point where
plastic debris from the shredder to avoid the ability to meet the 15-ppm oil limit is
plastic being illegally discharged in the in jeopardy.
bags of shredded metal and glass. An evaluation of potential technologies
Because this was a Fleet-wide backfit to separate oil from bilgewater concluded that
program that responded to an externally- the most effective approach is to retain the
established timetable, the quickest and most OWSs already installed throughout the Fleet
cost-effective way to outfit ships with the (which typically remove >98% of the oil in the
required new waste management capabilities influent) and polish the OWS effluent with a
was to design equipment to Level III drawings, different technology capable of consistently
enforce rigid configuration control, and equip removing the residual oil down to 15 ppm or less
every ship with identical machines. and coping with a wide range of contaminants.
Ceramic ultrafiltration membranes used in a Engineering Development Model (EDM) units
cross-flow filtration process were found to were developed and tested at 10 gpm
present the best combination of effectiveness, incorporating one particular commercially
reliability, scalability, and shipboard supplied membrane to demonstrate that this is a
compatibility. These membranes essentially viable technology for shipboard application. In
allow water, but not oil, to pass through, thereby response to the very successful laboratory and
concentrating the oily waste and producing an shipboard evaluations, an initial (Block 1)
environmentally acceptable effluent for system performance and interface specifications
discharge. Although ultrafiltration membranes package was provided for incorporation into
had been used commercially for other Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Class ships beginning
applications, no membrane systems had been with DDG 89 (see Figure 5). An improved
used for processing oily wastewater. The Navy (Block 2) system was installed and evaluated on
had to develop its own systems for its unique USS Rushmore (LSD 47), with the result that
military shipboard environment, mindful, space and weight have been reserved on the new
however, of the need to eventually have San Antonio (LPD 17) Class for oily waste
production systems commercially manufactured membrane treatment systems.
for installation in the Fleet. This presented the At the time the 10-gpm treatment
Navy with the opportunity to strategically plan system was designed, there was only one
the design of these systems to address as many technically acceptable commercial membrane
ship classes as possible with the fewest available. Membrane technology has evolved
variations in hardware, software, operations, significantly since that time and Navy laboratory
installation, and logistics. testing indicated that there are now several
Shipboard bilgewater generation rates commercial products that can potentially meet
across the surface Fleet were analyzed to the Navys requirements. The availability of
determine the most widely-applicable processing ultrafiltration membranes from more than one
(flow) rates for oily waste membrane- supplier promises continuing technology
ultrafiltration treatment systems. Prototype and

Figure 5. Three-Membrane Oily Waste Ultrafiltration-Membrane Systems on

USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Rushmore (LSD 47)
improvement, as well as protection against guidance, a performance and interface
membrane supply interruptions. At the same specifications package was prepared for the
time, however, it presented the Navy with the 10-gpm membrane treatment system. The
challenge of designing a treatment system that decision was made to prepare a separate
can accommodate alternative membranes performance and interface specification for the
without periodic hardware changes. A recent membrane module that will provide common
market survey of ultrafiltration membranes logistics supportability for this critical
found lengths varying from 30-47 inches, component across all treatment systems in this
diameters varying from 0.37-5.75 inches, and family of systems and across all platforms. The
surface areas varying from 0.2-120 ft2. Physical performance specification for each treatment
and performance characterization of these system will reference the membrane module
alternative membranes by the Navy indicated specification. The Sailor-replaceable membrane
that an OSA design approach could be used to modules supplied to the ship may contain any
define interface standards for a common housing commercial membrane that meets the Navys
that could hold a reasonable range of the standalone membrane performance and interface
identified membranes, allow them to perform as specification.
intended, and interface to the rest of the The 10-gpm system design was scaled
treatment system through standardized up to a 50-gpm flow rate for application on
connections. This membrane module was aircraft carriers and other large ships. This
developed and proven and can be used in any of system uses 12 ultrafiltration membranes,
a family of Navy-designed membrane systems to packaged in the standard modules, compared to
accept membranes from different manufacturers. the 3 membranes in the 10-gpm system. The
Alternative commercial membranes must all actual membranes used in the 10-gpm and
meet the same performance specifications, limits 50-gpm systems are the same commercial
on their physical dimensions, and connection membranes procured through the membrane
interfaces. The module also offers an module specification. This commonality
engineering strategy for providing Navy shock shortened the development time and increased
and vibration protection for COTS membranes. confidence in the performance of the 50-gpm
The use of different commercial membranes system. Space and weight have been reserved
will, therefore, be invisible in terms of the on the new aircraft carrier CVN 77 and on the
systems appearance, operation, and next-generation CVN(X) Class of aircraft
maintenance. carriers for 50-gpm membrane treatment
Consistent with the latest acquisition systems (see Figure 6).

Figure 6. Twelve-Membrane Oily Waste Ultrafiltration-Membrane System for Large Ships

Comparison waste ultrafiltration system design can
accommodate higher flow rates (bigger ships)
Table 3 highlights the major by scaling up its hydraulic characteristics and
commonality-related differences between the increasing the number of membranes while
illustrative solid waste and oily waste RDT&E maintaining a balance among size, reliability,
solutions. For the solid waste processing and maintainability. The building block here
equipment, scalability was accomplished by is the core technology component (membrane)
adding additional identical systems. The basic of the system rather than the system itself.
building block here was at the system level. Membrane technology upgrade can be
The Navy retains ownership (ensures accomplished relatively simply by substituting
commonality) of the solid waste processing improved membranes in the standard modules,
equipment through Level III drawings and requiring no system hardware modifications.
configuration control. Any technology upgrade Commonality is implemented through Navy
of any of the four solid waste processing ownership of the performance requirements and
machines would necessitate complete the system-to-ship and selected component-to-
replacement of the system. For the oily waste system interfaces.
treatment systems, by comparison, a single oily

TABLE 3. Elements of Shipboard Environmental Systems Commonality

Trash Processing Machines Oily Waste Ultrafiltration System
Cross-Platform Functional Solid waste stream sorted & processed into Identical technology for all ships.
Environmental Capability identical physical forms for identical disposal
on every ship.
System Level Suite of four waste-specific processing All small-ship variants identical & all
machines (technologies) for all ships. large-ship variants identical.
Design and Procurement Navy-supplied (Level III) drawings & Navy performance & interface
documentation. specifications package for each
Contractors provided with Navy-built flowrate.
prototypes. Open-system architecture that accepts
comparable commercial membranes.
Scalability External (system level): multiple stand- Internal (core-component level):
alone systems. single system design with different
Internal (component level): for Plastics flow rates & additional membrane
Waste Processor, major subsystems can be modules.
used in varying combinations to Navy standardized membrane
accommodate space constraints & waste interfaces accommodate alternative
generation rates. commercial membranes.
Shipboard Compatibility Flexibility to locate multiple machines near Single system installed adjacent to
waste generation sources. Oil/Water Separator.
Each type of machine has identical operation,
documentation, & human interface from ship Automated & unmanned.
to ship.
Configuration Traditional drawings & parts control. System interface control.
Management Core-component interface control.
Navy-demonstrated performance
specification for core component
Upgradeability System level replacement (high cost). In-place plug-and-play installation
of improved membranes (low cost).
One of the most useful R&D tools for needs to obtain a black box of certain
achieving commonality is OSA and it is being dimensions that will accept a certain effluent of
phased into NAVSEAs shipboard a certain composition at a certain flow rate and
environmental RDT&E program. OSA that will produce an effluent of a certain quality,
principles were not explicitly adopted in the the Navy no longer has absolute control over the
low-flow (10-gpm) oily waste ultrafiltration hardware, software, or perhaps even the
system design process from the start in order to technology that will be offered. This could
produce an early performance and interface result in a proposed system that the Navy knows
specifications package for the Fleet. As will not work properly or that the Navy will
mentioned, however, the design has been have to test in some manner to confirm its
upgraded to allow component interchangeability acceptability thus performance verification and
as the state of the art in ultrafiltration testing requirements are key. It may also
membranes advances. OSA design principles complicate logistics support where different
have been factored into the development of a solutions are provided for different ship classes
high-flow (50-gpm) system variant for large black boxes. Furthermore, the full service
ships. This OSA-based commonality will allow contractor acquisition approach prevents the
the Fleet to receive the latest advanced Navy from providing (as GFE), specifying, or
membranes without having to redesign, re- even recommending particular shipboard
engineer, or replace their oily waste treatment environmental systems. This provides greater
systems. In contrast, the simple mechanical flexibility to industry in innovating and meeting
processes (compressing, grinding, crushing) the Navys operational and TOC requirements
employed in the solid waste machines are not for new platforms, but the Navy relinquishes its
likely to see technological advances that could ability to impose traditional military
be adopted without removing the existing specifications and technologies on ship
equipment and installing newer systems. The designers and builders. As the Navy transitions
solid waste processing machines cannot be from traditional Navy Level III drawings and
upgraded in-place to significantly improve their configuration control to a more industry-
performance, i.e., their OSA break is at the centered acquisition partnership, there must be
system level compared to a component-level sufficient market base and life-cycle buy-in by
OSA break for the oily waste treatment systems. industry to ensure that environmental
commonality is not obtained at the expense of
What is the Commonality Challenge? system performance, reliability, safety, crew
burden, or other Navy concerns. A corporate
Ideally, a pollution control system for a NAVSEA perspective on shipboard
particular waste stream would be identical on environmental RDT&E will help ensure the
every ship. This would minimize TOC, provide broadest and most cost-effective environmental
a completely familiar training, operating, and systems commonality across existing and new
maintenance experience for Sailors as they move platforms and thus minimize environmental
from ship to ship, and streamline logistics impacts on the Fleet.
support. Until recently, this was achievable Several other trends will present both
because the Navy traditionally designed challenges and potential rewards for
shipboard environmental equipment itself and environmental systems commonality:
produced Level III drawings for build-to-print
Continuing pressures to reduce TOC.
production contracts, thereby ensuring clones
of the Navys successfully tested design. Reduced manning for new and some
Acquisition reform has provided the Navy with a existing platforms.
new procurement paradigm, however, that Offloading of maintenance
focuses on performance specifications instead of responsibilities from ships force to shore
hardware specifications and drawings and more activities and/or contractors.
readily enables insertion of industry innovation.
If, for example, the Navy tells industry that it
Greater automated operation and CONCLUSIONS
monitoring of shipboard systems
(especially CBM capabilities). As Navy vessels become increasingly
Reduced training requirements for Sailors. subject to expanding environmental laws and
Enhanced interoperability and technology regulations in the U.S. and abroad, shipboard
sharing with allied navies, which tend to waste management and other environmental
face stricter environmental requirements problems demand more and more of the Fleets
than the U.S. Navy. attention. An individual warship must be able to
efficiently, safely, and affordably manage its
Changing ship and submarine deployment own solid, liquid, and other wastes to operate
scenarios, to which system reliability, effectively as part of an integrated naval force.
maintainability, and logistics This must be accomplished while avoiding the
supportability must be geared. need to discharge wastes where prohibited,
New DoD/Navy self-regulation moving to unrestricted waters where discharge is
privileges, whereby the feasibility and allowed, putting into port (where adequate land-
cost of shipboard environmental controls based waste disposal facilities are not always
are increasingly factored into U.S. available around the world), or creating
regulatory schemes. unacceptable safety and health risks to the ship
Expanded application of the OSA design or its crew by holding wastes where discharge is
philosophy. not allowed or mission-compatible. As the
Fleets mission and presence expand in littoral
In the future, it is unlikely that the Navy will be
waters and in areas designated by the IMO for
able to impose such rigid environmental systems
special environmental restrictions (e.g., the
commonality across the Fleet as was done for
Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf),
the solid waste processing equipment. The
environmental problems become more of an
major challenges now are to achieve this degree
operational impediment.
of commonality across a ship class without
The Navys goal is to equip its ships, to
Level III drawings and associated configuration
the extent possible, with the capability to treat or
control and, more importantly and more
destroy wastes on board, rather than having to
difficult, to achieve a high degree of
discharge them overboard, transfer them at sea
commonality across ship classes. To help create
to support ships, or offload them in port to
the foundation for meeting these challenges,
pierside receiving facilities or barges for
commonality objectives are being integrated into
shoreside disposal. Achieving this in the most
all new NAVSEA environmental RDT&E
cost-effective and operationally compatible way
initiatives from the outset. For example,
requires consideration of the similarities and
membrane interchangeability is being designed
differences among the different classes of
into a new shipboard oily waste treatment
vessels and even among hulls of the same class.
system that combines a commercial bulk-oil
All Navy ships and submarines have certain
separator with ultrafiltration membranes, which
basic waste management needs, regardless of
can replace the Navys existing 10-gpm gravity
their platform and mission differences. These
parallel-plate OWS within the same footprint.
basic needs include collection, temporary
Non-oily wastewater ultrafiltration treatment
storage, volume reduction, and disposal of solid
systems currently being developed will also
and liquid wastes. Certain vessels may have
incorporating OSA principles. Nevertheless,
additional special environmental problems (e.g.,
commonality will increasingly become a routine
aircraft catapult effluent, seawater cooling
system design and systems engineering goal that
system chlorine discharge) attributable to their
will enhance naval force operations and ensure
size, unique weapons or machinery systems,
access to international and foreign waters and
operating profiles, or other features.
ports worldwide.
The key to minimize the environmental
compliance component of the Fleets TOC and
to maximize the Fleets operational flexibility is Markle, S.P., S.E. Gill, and P.S. McGraw,
to standardize shipboard environmental Engineering the Environmentally Sound
systems as much as possible across the wide Warship for the Twenty-First Century Naval
range of vessels. Environmental systems Engineers Journal, May 1999.
commonality is a powerful tool for minimizing
the Fleets environmental compliance burden Murphy, L.P., C.E. Traugh II, B.J. Hillers, A.H.
and cost, but it requires the rigorous application Ramsey, and H.L. Nestle, Navy Shipboard Oily
of forward-looking engineering and cost Wastewater Secondary Treatment: Evolution
techniques that objectively consider the various from Need Identification to Procurement of
environmental related trade-offs over a vessels Ultrafiltration Membrane Systems Using
entire life cycle. The maximum degree of Performance Specifications and Open System
commonality may not, in fact, be the best Architecture, ASNE/SNAME Marine
answer in every case (e.g., because it would Environmental Engineering Technology
entail the cost-prohibitive upgrade or Symposium Proceedings, May 31, 2001.
replacement of legacy systems), but certainly for
the design of future vessels it offers Naval Sea Systems Command, U.S. Navy
opportunities to minimize environmental related Shipboard Solid and Plastics Waste
TOC while preserving the Fleets ability to Management Program Plan 1993.
perform its mission worldwide without
hindrance from environmental restrictions. Nickens, A.D., J.F. Pizzino, and C.H. Crane,
NAVSEAs shipboard environmental Environmental Compliance: Requirements and
RDT&E program is rapidly applying Technology Opportunities for Future Ships
standardization and commonality objectives to Naval Engineers Journal, May 1997.
the development of Navy-unique and Navy-
tailored environmental systems and to the test Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to the
and evaluation of COTS environmental President and the Congress, 2001.
products. This will help ensure that the Navy is
a smart buyer of shipboard environmental Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition,
solutions, whether they are COTS products or Technology, and Logistics), DoD Directive
Navy developmental items. These 5000.1, The Defense Acquisition System,
environmental solutions will balance October 23, 2000.
component, system, platform, and battle force
commonality considerations such that a naval Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition,
force of any size and composition can perform Technology, and Logistics), DoD Instruction
its mission without undue concern for 5000.2, Change 1, Operation of the Defense
environmental compliance requirements and Acquisition System, 4 January 2001.
with minimal intrusion of environmental duties
into shipboard life. Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition,
Technology, and Logistics), Assistant Secretary
REFERENCES of Defense (Command, Control,
Communications, and Intelligence), and
Koss, L., Environmentally Sound Ships of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation
21st Century Proceedings of the ASNE memorandum Mandatory Procedures for Major
Maritime Environmental Symposium, 1992. Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) and
Major Automated Information System (MAIS)
Markle S.P. and S.E. Gill, T-AKE: Acquiring Acquisition Programs (DoD 5000.2-R Interim
the Environmentally Sound Ship of the 21st Regulation) 4 January 2001.
Century, ASNE Day 2001 Proceedings, April
30, 2001. U.S. Department of the Navy, Report to
Congress: U.S. Navy Ship Solid Waste
Management Plan for MARPOL Annex V research and development efforts for shipboard
Special Areas November 1996. liquid and solid waste treatment systems,
hazardous material management, and ozone
U.S. Department of the Navy, Report to depleting substance reduction. He has
Congress: U.S. Navy Submarine Solid Waste contributed to the engineering of numerous
Management Plan for MARPOL Annex V environmental systems installed on Navy ships
Special Areas December 1997. and has received several Navy awards in
recognition of his achievements in
environmental ship design. He has authored
Carl M. Adema is the Program Manager of the numerous papers on the development of naval
Navys Shipboard Environmental Protection waste treatment technologies. Mr. Rodriguez
RDT&E Program at the Naval Sea Systems received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering,
Command. He directs the research and specializing in Environmental Engineering from
development of shipboard waste treatment the University of Central Florida.
technology so that the U.S. Navy will have an
environmentally sound ship in the 21st Century. Christopher H. Crane has over 22 years of
He has 28 years of experience in conducting and experience in environmental and health
managing environmental research and programs. He is a Senior Scientist at Geo-
development efforts. He has designed and Centers, Inc., where he has provided technical,
developed shipboard systems and procedures for programmatic, and documentation support for
the treatment of shipboard wastes. He holds two Navy headquarters shipboard environmental
patents and has written several papers on RDT&E programs since 1989. Previous
shipboard waste management and treatment. experience encompasses 10 years of technical
Mr. Adema received his Bachelor of Mechanical and management support for headquarters-level
Engineering degree from Kettering University energy, environmental, health, and defense
(previously General Motors Institute) and his programs at the Department of Energy,
Masters Degree in Business Administration from Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear
Michigan State University. Regulatory Commission, Federal Emergency
Management Agency, Defense Nuclear Agency,
Anthony T. Rodriguez is the Deputy Program and Navy. He also worked for 1 year in the
Manager of the Navys Shipboard industrial engineering department of a chemical
Environmental Protection RDT&E Program at products company, focusing on waste
the Naval Sea Systems Command. He assists in management and mass balance projects. He
the direction and execution of the research and holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in
development of shipboard waste treatment Chemistry and Business Studies from the
technologies aimed at attaining an University of Salford (previously Salford Royal
environmentally sound ship of the 21st Century. College of Advanced Technology) in England
Mr. Rodriguez has over 17 years of experience and was a volunteer fire and rescue technician
leading and executing shipboard environmental and officer for 11 years.