Thursday, March 28, 2013

EPA Issues A Final Vessel General Permit

Mar 28: U.S. EPA announced it has issued a final vessel general permit regulating discharges from commercial vessels, including ballast water, to protect the nation's waters from ship-borne pollutants and reduce invasive species in U.S. waters. The final vessel general permit covers commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length, excluding military and recreational vessels, and will replace the 2008 vessel general permit due to expire on December 19, 2013. EPA said the permit regulates 27 specific discharge categories, and will also provide improvements to the efficiency of the permit process, and clarify discharge requirements by the following:
  • Reduce the risks of introduction of invasive species. The permit includes a more stringent numeric discharge standard limiting the release of non-indigenous invasive species in ballast water. The permit also contains additional environmental protection for the Great Lakes, which have suffered disproportionate impacts from invasive species, aligning Federal standards with many Great Lakes states by requiring certain vessels to take additional precautions to reduce the risk of introducing new invasive species to U.S. waters.
  • Reduce administrative burden for vessel owners and operators. The permit will eliminate duplicative reporting requirements, expand electronic recordkeeping opportunities, and reduce self-inspection frequency for vessels that are out of service for extended periods.
    EPA said the new discharge standards are supported by independent studies by the Agency's science advisory board and the National Research Council (NRC), and are consistent with those contained in the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 2004 Ballast Water Convention. EPA is issuing the permit in advance of the current permit's expiration to provide the regulated community time and flexibility to come into compliance with the new requirements. The new permit is effective on December 19, 2013.
    Access a release from EPA (click here). Access links to a 1-page fact sheet and the complete prepublication federal register notice, general permit and economic analysis (click here). Access EPA's overall Vessel Discharge website for more information(click here). [#Water, #GLakes]
You can review recent issues of eNewsUSA (click here)
Access subscription information (click here)
Want to know more about WIMS? Check out our LinkedIn company website (click here).
33 Years of Environmental Reporting for serious Environmental Professionals

No comments: