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Friday, March 8, 2019 

Carnival Corporation has publicly released the results of an independent, two-year scientific wash-water study that it says shows the company's Advanced Air Quality Systems are a safe and effective means for compliance with the IMO 2020 requirements, which include regulations for cleaner air emissions and strict wash-water quality standards.

The study concluded that the wash-water samples from the Advanced Air Quality Systems –  i.e. EGCS or scrubbers – were below the limits set by several major national and international water quality and land-based water discharge standards to provide further proof of the quality and safety of the wash water, even when compared to criteria like drinking water.

Focused specifically on analysing the composition and quality of wash water from EGCS, the study included 281 wash-water samples from 53 Carnival Corporation ships equipped with the systems (such as the Aida cruises installation pictured) creating the largest wash-water data set in the marine industry.

The samples were analysed for 54 parameters by ISO-acredited independent laboratories using standardized EPA methods. Following the lab phase, DNV GL reviewed the laboratory test data, comparing the results to major point source discharge limits and water quality standards.

The independent results were reviously presented at a technical conference for CSA 2020. Specific to IMO wash-water requirements, the study confirmed results from previous studies showing the quality of the water used in the EGCS process was always far below the IMO monitoring limits for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the annual limits for nitrates. In fact, when measured against IMO standards, the average wash-water test results in this study were over 90% lower than maximum allowable levels. In many cases, the materials were completely undetectable in the laboratory testing process.

Additionally, the report compared the samples to selected national and international water quality benchmark standards, including the German Waste Water Ordinance, the EU Industrial Emissions Directive and the Surface Water Standards of the EU's Water Framework Directive. The World Health Organization's (WHO) drinking water guidelines were also evaluated. Test results demonstrated that the composition of the water was not only consistently below, but in most cases, significantly below the most stringent limits.

"We are pleased to see the positive results of this multi-year study, which included in-depth analysis and review from respected independent experts, demonstrating the overall quality of our Advanced Air Quality Systems wash water and further confirming the IMO's acceptance of these systems for 2020 regulatory compliance," said Mike Kaczmarek, senior vice president for marine technology for Carnival Corporation.

Carnival Corporation has installed Advanced Air Quality Systems on over 70 ships in its fleet, and combined with the adoption of LNG, shorepower and other sustainability initiatives, the company remains committed to meeting and exceeding all established standards for performance and environmental protections.

Other recent major studies addressing the environmental performance of these systems in the marine environment include a June 2018 report by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on the "Impact of EGCS on the Marine Environment," which showed evidence strongly supporting scrubbers as a safe and effective option for IMO 2020 compliance.

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