Monday, December 22, 2008

New Vessel General Permit Compliance Delayed Until Feb. 6

On December 18, U.S. EPA announced a new 2008 Vessel General Permit (VGP) that would reduce releases of 26 types of discharges from vessels operating in U.S. waters [See WIMS 12/19/08]. The regulation affects, approximately 61,000 domestically flagged commercial vessels and 8,000 foreign flagged vessels that will need to comply with the permit. The VGP was to take effect on December 19, 2008; however, 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." Therefore, the regulated community need not comply with the terms of the new permit until February 6, 2009. More information on how the court order affects the "effective date" and other dates in the permit is available from the prepublication copies of the Federal Register Notices available from the website below.

Access extensive information on the Final Vessel General Permit including prepublication copies of the regulations and a fact sheet (click here).