Following the decision, in 2002, to prepare technical guidance on the development of an Action List under the Generic Guideline s that would assist Contracting Parties in developing their own National Action Lists and address the potential effects on human health and the marine environment, the Scientific Groups under the London Convention and Protocol developed the ?Guidance for the Development of Action Lists and Action Levels for Dredged Material? in working and correspondence groups, initially led by the United States and subsequently by Canada. In May 2008, the Scientific Groups completed their work and the governing bodies adopted the Guidance in October 2008.
During the developmental work, many delegations and representatives from observer organizations contributed to the development of the Guidance. In particular Australia, Canada, Islamic republic of Iran, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Greenpeace International and the OECD are thanked for their valuable contributions.
The document assists regulators and policy makers on the selection of Action Lists and the development of Action Levels for dredged material proposed for disposal at sea. An Action List is a set of chemicals of concern, biological responses of concern, or other characteristics that can be used for screening dredged material for their potential effects on human health and the marine environment. Action Levels establish thresholds that provide decision points that determine whether sediments can be disposed of at sea.
While the Guidance is designed to assist with implementation of requirements under the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 and its 1996 Protocol, the guidance provided is general and could be applied to the assessment of dredged material under other instruments. The guidance does not, however, cover the assessment of other wastes or other matter allowed under the London Convention and Protocol.