On March 28, 2013, EPA issued the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) to authorize discharges incidental to the normal discharge of operations of commercial vessels. The 2013 VGP has an effective date of December 19, 2013.
EPA intends to finalize the small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) later this year.
The 2013 final VGP will continue to regulate 26 specific discharge categories that were contained in the 2008 VGP, and would provide coverage for fish hold effluent in the event that a permitting moratorium currently in effect expires in December 2014. For the first time, the final VGP contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels.
Please visit http://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels for more information.
The 2008 Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulates discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels operating in a capacity as a means of transportation. The VGP includes general effluent limits applicable to all discharges; general effluent limits applicable to 26 specific discharge streams; narrative water-quality based effluent limits; inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements; and additional requirements applicable to certain vessel types.
Recreational vessels as defined in section 502(25) of the Clean Water Act are not subject to this permit. In addition, with the exception of ballast water discharges, non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet (24.08 meters) in length, and all commercial fishing vessels, regardless of length, are not subject to this permit.
EPA issued the VGP on December 18, 2008. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California signed an order providing that "the exemption for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, contained in 40 C.F.R. 122.3(a), is vacated as of February 6, 2009."
Environmental Standards Division (CG-OES-3)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2100 Second Street SW
Washington, DC 20593