EPA: VGP Will Not be Reissued This Year

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 11, 2018

The EPA has provided updated advice on the reissuance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP).

The 2013 VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date, but will be administratively continued and remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Owners/operators of vessels operating under the administratively continued permit are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of that permit. EPA stands ready to assist those applying for VGP and will continue its work on reissuing the permit, with a targeted timeframe of permit proposal in spring 2019.

For vessels covered by the permit as of December 18, 2018: Coverage will continue. EPA recommends that owners/operators of vessels double-check that their vessels have active Notices of Intent (NOIs) or Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection (PARI), as appropriate, prior to the December 18, 2018 permit expiration date. You can use the online public search tool available at: https://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/vgpenoi/f?p=vgp:Search to identify vessel NOI status. Updates to any NOIs submitted prior to December 18, 2018 (e.g., updates to owner/operator information) can still be made after December 18, 2018.

For vessels currently without permit coverage: Because coverage under the VGP cannot be obtained after the permit's expiration date, EPA strongly encourages owners/operators of eligible vessels currently without permit coverage to seek it prior to December 18, 2018. Such eligible vessels include vessels that are currently under construction or that have not previously operated in US waters.  

For information about how to apply for a VGP and eligibility requirements, visit https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels-vgp.

Contact EPA about the VGP via email at vgp@epa.gov

The VGP provides NPDES permit coverage for incidental discharges into waters of the United States from commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length and for ballast water from commercial vessels of all sizes. EPA estimates that approximately 61,000 domestically flagged commercial vessels and approximately 8,000 foreign flagged vessels require VGP permit coverage for such incidental discharges.  EPA issued the VGP in December 2013, and it expires in December 2018.

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