Airborne pollution of the marine environment has not received great attention in the literature. This is certainly a reflection of the fact that, for the longest time, this type of pollution was neglected in international efforts to cooperate for the protection of the marine environment. However, the last few years have witnessed considerable activity in this area and some stock-taking is in order.
1 Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area of March 22, 1974, reprinted in 13 International Legal Material 544 (1974).
2 By way of an example, it will focus on the input of nitrogen and phosphorus and eutrophication.
3 Therefore, the turnover time for Baltic Sea water is estimated to be as long as 25 years for a 90% exchange; see T.O. Kaasik, “The Geography of the Baltic Sea Region” in A.H. Westing, ed., Comprehensive Regional Security for the Baltic—An Environmental Approach (Oslo: International Peace Research Institute 1989) 15 at 19.
4 A.H. Westing, “Environmental Approaches to Regional Security” in Westing, ed., supra, note 3 at 3; see as well, B.A. Boczek, “The Baltic Sea: A Study in Marine Regionalism,” 23 German Yearbook of International Law, 196 at 205ff (hereinafter, Baltic Sea) (1980).
5 E. Leppäkoski, “Man's Impact on the Baltic Ecosystem,” 9 AMBIO 174 at 175 (1980).
6 B.A. Boczek, “International Protection of the Baltic Sea Environment Against pollution: A Study in Marine Regionalism” 72 American Journal of International Law 782 at 787 (1978) (hereinafter, Boczek, International Protection); and L. Zmudzinski, “Environmental Quality in the Baltic Region” in Westing, ed., supra, note 3, 46 at 48ff for a more comprehensive picture of the Baltic Sea's ecological situation.
7 Nordic Council of Ministers, Europe's Air—Europe's Environment (Stockholm 1986) at 66; OECD, The State of the Environment 1985 (Paris: OECD, 1985) at 84; Leppäkoski, supra, note 5 at 174.
8 Eutrophication becomes a concern when the number of plants, algae and other organisms rapidly increases and their subsequent decomposition results in a shortage of oxygen which, in turn, kills other plants and animals; see Zmudzinski, supra, note 6 at 50; Nordic Council of Ministers, supra, note 7, 65ff.
9 Nordic Council of Ministers, supra, note 7 at 68.
10 The National Swedish Environmental Protection Board estimated the total input in the 1980s to be 1,197,500 tons of nitrogen and 77,300 tons of phosphorous; see Nordic Council of Ministers, supra, note 7 at 67. On industrial pollutant input in general, see L. Bruneau, “pollution from Industries in the Drainage Age of the Baltic, 9 AMBIO 145 (1980).
11 Zmudzinski, supra, note 6 at 50.
12 For data, see Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission—Helsinki Commission, Deposition of Airborne Pollutants to the Baltic Sea Area 1983-1985 and 1986, Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings, No. 32 (Helsinki 1989) at 3, 7 (hereinafter HELCOM, No. 32).
13 Leppakoski, supra, note 5 at 180.
14 But see Article 4(3), which calls upon the parties to ensure the attainment of the convention's purposes regardless.
15 No reservations may be made to the convention; see Article 25.
16 See infra, note 26 and accompanying text, as well as Article 24(1) and (2) of the convention.
17 On the positive effect of this measure, see supra, note 13 and accompanying text.
18 For a good overview, see B. Johnson, “The Baltic Convention” 25 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 1 at 9–11 (1976).
19 International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships, November 2, 1973, reprinted in 12 International Legal Material 1319 (1973).
20 See M. Tulokas, “The Baltic Sea and pollution” (1981) 25 Scandinavian Studies in Law 205 at 218, 219; the significance of the adoption of MARPOL's annexes lies in the fact that Annexes III and IV are applicable in the Baltic although they have not entered into force under MARPOL.
21 Boczek, Baltic Sea, supra, note 4 at 217; Tulokas, supra, note 20 at 220, 221; the London Convention is reprinted in 11 International Legal Material 1294 (1972).
22 For an overview, see Johnson, supra, note 18 at 11, 12.
23 See J. Brunnee, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion—International Law and Regulation (Dobbs Ferry: Transnational Publishers, 1988) at 9, 82 (hereinafter Brunnée, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion).
24 On air pollution in the USSR and Eastern Europe, see J. McCormick, Acid Earth—The Global Threat of Acid pollution (London: Earthscan, 1985) 113ff; F. Painton, “Darkness at Noon,” TIME, April 9, 1990, 50; M. Simons, “Rising Iron Curtain Exposes Haunting Veil of pollution,” The New York Times, April 8, 1990, 1.
25 Tulokas, supra, note 20 at 216, 217.
26 See Article 13 for more detail on HELCOM's powers; all of its decisions must be taken unanimously (Article 12(5)).
27 See H. Rohde, R. Söderlund and J. Ekstedt, “Deposition of Airborne Pollutants on the Baltic,” 9 AMBIO 168 at 173 (references) (1980).
28 See, e.g., Seminar on Diffusity, Transport and Deposition Processes of Atmospheric Pollutants to the Baltic Sea Area; held in conjunction with the Third Meeting of the ad hoc Group of Experts on Airborne pollution of the Baltic Sea Area (EGAP) of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission—Helsinki Commission, Neubrandenburg, The German Democratic Republic, 7-8 May 1986.
29 See HELCOM, No. 32, supra, note 12 and accompanying text.
30 Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission—Helsinki Commission—Seventh Meeting of the Group of Experts on Airborne pollution of the Baltic Sea Area, Helsinki, Finland, 24-27 April 1990, EGAP 7/10, at 5 (hereinafter HELCOM, Seventh Meeting).
31 Id., Annex 4.
32 Id., Annex 6; and Steering Body to EMEP, Executive Body for the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Report of the Thirteenth Session, 15 September 1989, EB.AIR/GE. 1/14 at 8.
33 HELCOM, Seventh Meeting, supra, note 20, Annex 7.
34 Information kindly provided by Ambassador Pertti Harvola, Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki, Finland, letter of June 21, 1990.
38 See in this context, Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission—Helsinki Commission—Report of the Third Meeting of the Working Group on Reduction of Industrial Discharges (RID), Lübeck, Federal Republic of Germany, 14-18 May 1990, RID 3/10 (hereinafter HELCOM/RID, Third Meeting).
39 See in the latter context related ECE activities, Executive Body for the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution, UN Economic Commission for Europe, Report of the Seventh Session of the Executive Body, UN ECE Doc. ECE/EB.AIR 130, 20 December 1989, Annex II.
40 Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission—Helsinki Commission—Eleventh Meeting, Helsinki, 13-16 February 1990, Tasks of the HELCOM ad hoc Group for Revision of the Convention, HELCOM 11/14, Annex 2B (hereinafter HELCOM, Eleventh Meeting).
41 Harvola, supra, note 34.
42 See HELCOM, Eleventh Meeting, supra, note 40.
43 See HELCOM/RID, Third Meeting, supra, note 38, Annex 5, for detail on the suggested criteria.
44 HELCOM, Eleventh Meeting, supra, note 40.
45 Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against pollution, February 16, 1976, reprinted in 15 International Legal Material 285 (1976).
46 Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against pollution from Land-Based Sources, Athens, May 17, 1980, reprinted in 19 International Legal Material 863 (1980).
47 Report of the ad hoc Meeting for the Preparation of the Annex IV of Land-Based Sources Protocol to the Barcelona Convention, Athens, 19–21 December 1988, UNEP (OCA)/NED WG. 6/1, 21 December 1988.
48 Information kindly provided by A. Soudine, Senior Scientific Officer, Environment Division, WMO, Geneva: letter of May 24, 1990.
49 UNEP (OCA)/MED WG. 12/5, 5 April 1990.
50 Id., under 2.
51 Id., under 5.
52 See Bozcek, International Protection, supra, note 6 at 812.
53 Sceptical: Sounine, supra, note 48.
54 See infra, note 79 and accompanying text.
55 On development and scope of the existing customary rule, see Brunnee, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion, at 83ff (refer to footnote 23); J. Ehmer, Der Grundsatz der Freiheit der Meere und das Verbot der Meeresver-Schmutzung, Schriften zum Völkerrecht, Bd.32 (1973) at 113.
56 Trail Smelter case, III U.N.R.I.A.A. 1905 at 1907 (1941); Corfu Channel case,  International Court of Justice Reporter 4 at 22.
57 Lac Lanoux case, XII R.I.A.A. at 315 (1957).
58 See A.E. Boyle, “Marine pollution under the Law of the Sea Convention,” 79 American Journal of International Law 347 at 366 (1985); R. Soni, Control of Marine pollution in International Law (Cape Town: Juta, 1985) at 140.
59 See Trail Smelter case, supra, note 56; Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration, UN Declaration on the Human Environment (Stockholm Declaration), reprinted in (1972), 11 International Legal Materials 1416.
60 See supra, note 8 and accompanying text; and HELCOM, No. 32, supra, note 12 at 3, 7, and 11.
61 See Brunnee, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion, supra, note 23 at 136.
62 See A. Cassese, International Law in a Divided World (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986) 376-392; Article 19(d) of the International Law Commission's Draft Articles on State Responsibility, YBILC 1980 II (Part 2); J. Brunnee, “Common Interest—Echoes From an Empty Shell? Some Thought on Common Interest and International Environmental Law” 49 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 791 at 800ff (1989); and Soni, supra, note 58 at 69–72, 142ff.
63 Reprinted in 21 International Legal Material 1261 (1982).
64 Boyle, supra, note 58 at 351.
65 Id., at 353ff.
66 Id., at 354.
67 See Articles 211(2), 208(3), and 210(6) of the Law of the Sea Convention.
68 Reprinted in 13 International Legal Material 352 (1974).
69 Reprinted in K.R. Simmonds, ed., New Directions in the Law of the Sea, Release 88-2 (New York: Oceana Publications), J.29.
70 See Bozcek, Baltic Sea, supra, note 4 at 212.
71 See Brunnee, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion, supra, note 23 at 174.
72 Id., at 172, 173.
73 Reprinted in 18 International Legal Material 1442 (1979).
74 On membership as of September 15, 1989, see Executive Body for the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Annual Review of Strategies for Air pollution Abatement, UN ECE Doc. ECE/EB.AIR/R.40, September 26, 1989 at 15 (hereinafter EB.AIR, Annual Review).
75 Brunnée, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion, supra, note 55 at 184, 185.
76 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions by at least 30%, in Executive Body for the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Report of the Third Session of the Executive Body, UN ECE Doc. ECE/EB.AIR 18, Annex I, August 6, 1985.
77 A. Fraenkel, “The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution: Meeting the Challenge of International Cooperation,” 30/2 Harvard International Law Journal 447 at 470 (1989).
78 Id. at 473; the Protocol to the 1979 ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution Concerning the Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides or Their Transboundary Fluxes, October 31, 1988, is reprinted in (1989) 28 International Legal Material 212.
79 Personal communication, Dr. Hans Martin, Director, Air Quality and Interenvironmental Research Branch, Atmospheric Environment Service, Environment Canada, March 30, 1990.
81 Poland, which has not signed the Helsinki Protocol, is an exception; see EB.AIR, Annual Review, supra, note 74 at 21.
82 Protocol on the Long-Term Financing of EMEP, September 28, 1984, reprinted in 24 International Legal Material 484 (1985).
83 Fraenkel, supra, note 77 at 460.
84 See Brunnee, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer Depletion, supra, note 55 at 162ff.
85 Id. at 166ff; O. Lomas, “Environmental Protection, Economic Conflict and the European Communities,” 33 McGill Law Journal 506, 519ff. (1988).
86 OJ No. C 328, 7.12.87, 43.
87 Id., 44.
88 Id., 2.
89 Id., 18.
90 Id., 24.
91 Id., 37.
This paper was presented at the International Association of Law Libraries Conference on Ecology and Law in the Baltic Sea Area: Sources and Developments, in Riga, Latvia, on August 26–31, 1990. [Jutta Brunnée is a member of the Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada.]
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed