The US EPA release the Final Draft of the Vessel General Permit (VGP) which comes in to force 19 December 2013.
The aim of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System's (NPDES) 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) is to protect the nation's waters from ship-borne pollutants and reduce invasive species. It covers commercial vessels longer than 79 feet, excluding military and recreational vessels, and will replace the 2008 vessel general permit that expires on 19 December
The new permit includes a stricter numeric discharge standard limiting the release of non-indigenous invasive species in ballast water. It also contains additional environmental protection for the Great Lakes, requiring certain vessels to take additional precautions.
The 2013 final VGP seeks to reduce the administrative burden for vesselowners and operators by eliminating duplicate reporting requirements, expanding electronic record-keeping opportunities, and reducing self-inspection frequency for vessels that are out of service for extended periods.
The new discharge standards are in line with the International MaritimeOrganisation's 2004 Ballast Water Convention.
More information can be found here.