Allegretti Testifies on Vessel Discharge Regs

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Tom Allegretti (Photo: AWO)

Vessel operators press for uniform national vessel discharge regulation

On March 4, in testimony before the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, urged Congress to enact a uniform national standard for ballast water and other vessel discharges to end a patchwork of federal and state regulations that is counterproductive to enhanced environmental protection, confusing and costly for vessel owners, and inefficient for state and federal agencies.

“Congress has an opportunity to enact legislation that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of marine transportation while enhancing the protection of our nation’s waterways,” Allegretti stated. “The establishment of a uniform federal framework for the regulation of vessel discharges will be good for the maritime industry and the men and women who work in it, good for shippers who rely upon marine transportation, good for the marine environment, and good for the American taxpayer.”

Allegretti emphasized that industry’s intent was not to avoid high standards, stating that “our industry has established a strong and continuously improving environmental record and we recognize that making responsible environmental practice a top priority is both good policy and good business. The problem is not that vessel discharges are regulated; it is how they are regulated.”

Allegretti shared the challenging compliance burden vessel operators and mariners face, with two federal agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency, and 25 states all regulating the same vessel discharges in overlapping and sometimes inconsistent ways. A tug-barge unit moving oil from Washington State to the Port of Richmond, California, for example, must comply with Coast Guard ballast water and hull fouling regulations, theEPA Vessel General Permit, 25 state-specific VGP conditions added by Washington and California, and ballast water management and reporting requirements imposed by Washington, Oregon and California.

Noting that a consensus among the scientific community as well as federal and state regulators regarding the capability of ballast water treatment technology has emerged in recent years and could serve as the foundation for bipartisan Congressional action, Allegretti urged the Subcommittee to end the current climate of uncertainty by “enacting a single set of uniform national standards, with a requirement for the standards to become increasingly stringent as treatment technology improves over time.”

“The broken regulatory regime for vessel discharges is not a problem of EPA’s making. It is not a problem of the Coast Guard’s making. It is a situation in which well-meaning and hard-working agencies have been effectively set up to fail as they seek to harmonize regulations promulgated pursuant to different statutory authorities,” Allegretti said. “Congressional leadership is badly needed to fix this unacceptable situation.”

  • Image: AWO

    Image: AWO

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Urals Weakens Further in Baltic

Russian Urals crude differentials continued to slide in the Baltic on Thursday amid a flurry of activity with softer refining margins, pushed down by higher oil prices, still keeping buyers at bay.

Seadrill Hopes to See Market Turn in 2017

Offshore rig driller Seadrill is facing another two years in the doldrums but hopes the international rig market could turn around in 2017.   Rig rates have more

Yanmar to Display New Common-rail Diesels at METS

Yanmar Marine International (YMI) will show its new range of common-rail fuel injected marine diesel engines rated for leisure marine and workboat applications at METS 2015,

Coast Guard

U.S. Will Dispatch Warships to South China Sea

The United States is expected to sail warships close to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea within the next two weeks to signal it does not recognize

Woman Medevaced From Cruise Ship off Virginia Beach

The Coast Guard medevaced a 30-year-old woman Tuesday from a cruise ship approximately 165 miles east of Virginia Beach. Coast Guard 5th District watchstanders received a request at 4:45 a.

MARAD’s Jaenichen Issues Statement on El Faro

U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen has issued a statement following the U.S. Coast Guard’s announcement that it will suspend the search for survivors from the missing cargo ship El Faro.

People in the News

Former Shipping Execs Indicted on Price-fixing

Three former executives of ocean freight shipping firms have been indicted for participating in a long-running price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Oil Spill Statfjord North Sea Field - Statoil

Loading of tankers suspended, unclear when it will resume. Oil spilled into the North Sea during the loading of a tanker at Norway's Statfjord field on Thursday, operator Statoil said.

Woman Medevaced From Cruise Ship off Virginia Beach

The Coast Guard medevaced a 30-year-old woman Tuesday from a cruise ship approximately 165 miles east of Virginia Beach. Coast Guard 5th District watchstanders received a request at 4:45 a.

Government Update

Steel Cut on UK Navy’s Newest Warship

Construction has begun on a new warship for the U.K. Royal Navy as the Minister of State for Defense Procurement, Philip Dunne MP cut the first steel in Glasgow today.

Ukraine Sees Smaller Maize Exports to China

Ukrainian maize exports to China under a $1.5 billion loan-for-grains deal could be significantly below an expected 2 million tonnes this year, as Beijing appears to want less of the commodity,

Eni Arctic Service Rig Extension Okayed

Italian oil company Eni has received permission from Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority to extend the use of a service rig on its troubled Arctic Goliat oil field offshore Norway until Nov.

Ballast Water Treatment

US Orders EPA to Rewrite Ship Ballast Water Dumping Rules

A federal appeals court in New York ordered the government to rewrite its rules regulating the discharge of ballast water by ships, in a victory for environmental

NOCC Opts for Optimarin BWT System for Its Newbuild

Ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin has been chosen by Norwegian Car Carriers AS (NOCC) as the supplier of choice for its two newbuild vessels

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4654 sec (2 req/sec)