Vessel Discharges | NPDES | US EPA
Skip common site navigation and headers
United States Environmental Protection Agency
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > OW Home > OWM Home > NPDES Home > Vessel Discharges End Hierarchical Links
Vessel General Permit
- Additional Resources
- Monitoring and Reporting
 
eNOI
- One Time Report
 
Background
 
Report to Congress
 
Program Development
 
 
 
Vessel Discharges Home

 

NPDES Topics Alphabetical Index Glossary About NPDES

Vessel Discharges

OVERVIEW

Picture from Inside VesselEPA's NPDES vessels program regulates incidental discharges from the normal operation of vessels consistent with section 402 of the Clean Water Act. Incidental discharges from the normal operation of vessels include, but are not limited to, ballast water, bilgewater, graywater (e.g., water from sinks, showers), and anti-foulant paints (and their leachate). These discharges may result in negative environmental impacts via the addition of traditional pollutants or, in some cases, by contributing to the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The centerpiece of the NPDES vessels program is the Vessel General Permit, also known as the VGP. The VGP was issued initially in 2008 with that permit in effect through December 19, 2013. EPA reissued the VGP on March 28, 2013 with that second permit taking effect beginning December 19, 2013 (and effective for five years thereafter). Generally, the VGP provides NPDES permit coverage for ballast water and for other discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length and operating as a means of transportation.

Except for ballast water, NPDES permits are not currently required for discharges incidental to normal operation of commercial fishing vessels and other non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet. However, unless Congress takes additional action, the moratorium from the requirement to obtain permit coverage for incidental discharges from these vessels expires December 18, 2014.

Recreational vessels are not subject to the requirement to obtain an NPDES permit for discharges incidental to their normal operation. Rather, the law requires EPA to develop management practice performance standards and then for the Coast Guard to promulgate regulations that require compliance with such practices. Similarly, the NPDES program does not regulate discharges from military vessels. Both recreational vessels and military vessels are regulated under the authority of Section 312 of the Clean Water Act.

To implement the NPDES vessels program, EPA undertakes many activities to characterize the different types of discharges from vessels, assess the environmental impacts of these discharges, identify appropriate measures for controlling these discharges, and establish tools to manage associated data and other vessels-related information. Details of EPA’s vessels program activities can be accessed from the pages identified below.

EPA developed a webinar series on the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) and four webinars have been completed (2013 VGP Introduction, eNOI System, EALs, and Monitoring); however, you can view or download recordings of those webinars from the “Trainings and Meetings” link on the right side of this page. Dependent on stakeholder interest, EPA may schedule additional webinars and welcomes suggestions for future webinar topics. Please send any suggestions to vgp@epa.gov (vgp@epa.gov).

WHAT CAN I FIND ON THIS WEB SITE?

Vessel General Permit (VGP) and Supporting Information


EPA’s VGP electronic Notice of Intent (NOI) System - Submit and view NOIs and other reports required under EPA’s 2008 and 2013 VGP. 

Background Information - Overview of how EPA regulates discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels, including an explanation of why the NPDES vessels program only regulates certain discharges from certain vessels.

2010 Vessels Report to Congress - EPA’s 2010 report to Congress on a study of discharges incidental to normal operation of commercial fishing vessels and other non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet.

Program Research and Development - EPA’s research and development efforts for vessel discharges.

NPDES Vessels Program Quarterly Newsletters - Periodic updates to the public about EPA’s NPDES vessels program.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Home

Vessel Discharges Information
Recent Additions

FAQs

Publications

Regulations

Training & Meetings

Links

Contacts

 
 Register to Receive NPDES News Alerts!  

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. Files are best viewed in Internet Explorer and Adobe 8.0 or higher. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

 

Office of Water | Office of Wastewater Management | Disclaimer | Search EPA

Begin Site Footer

EPA Home | Privacy and Security Notice | Contact Us

Last updated on February 16, 2012 12:05 PM
URL:http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm