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NPDES Vessel General Permit and Small Vessel General Permit Now Available

January 11, 2012

NPDES Vessel General Permit and Small Vessel General Permit Now Available

The 2013 draft Vessel General Permit (VGP) and Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) are now available at

The draft VGP, set to replace the current 2008 VGP when it expires in December 2013, would continue to regulate the 26 specific discharge categories that were contained in the 2008 permit, and for the first time, authorize the discharge of fish hold effluent. The draft permit also contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels to reduce the risk of invasive species in US waters, more stringent requirements for exhaust gas scrubbers and the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants. EPA will be taking comment on the potentially more stringent requirements for bilgewater requirements.

The draft sVGP would be the first Clean Water Act permit to regulate discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels less than 79 feet in length. The draft Small Vessel General Permit would go into effect at the conclusion of a moratorium enacted by Congress exempting all incidental discharges from vessels less than 79 feet and commercial fishing vessels, with the exception of ballast water, from having to obtain a permit until December 18, 2013. The draft permit specifies best management practices for several broad discharge management categories including fuel management, engine and oil control, solid and liquid maintenance, graywater management, fish hold effluent management, and ballast water management.

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