Permits and Associated Documents
Draft 2013 VGP and Draft 2014 sVGP
- Federal Register Notice (December 8, 2011) announcing publication of the draft VGP and draft sVGP (PDF) (10 pp, 194 KB, About PDF)
- Press Release announcing publication of the draft 2014 sVGP (and draft 2013 VGP)
- Brief Overview of the Draft VGP and sVGP
Draft 2013 VGP Documents
- Draft 2013 VGP
- Draft 2013 VGP Fact Sheet – Provides the technical basis for the derivation of proposed sVGP requirements.
- Draft 2013 VGP Economic and Benefits Analysis – Presents EPA’s economic and benefits analyses of the impact of the proposed sVGP on all affected vessels.
- Federal Register Notice Announcing a Listening Session Seeking Suggestions for Improving the Next VGP
Draft 2014 sVGP Documents
- Draft 2014 sVGP
- Draft 2014 sVGP Fact Sheet – Provides the technical basis for the derivation of proposed sVGP requirements.
- Draft 2014 sVGP Economic and Benefits Analysis – Presents EPA’s economic and benefits analyses of the impact of the proposed sVGP on all affected vessels.
Final 2008 VGP for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels
The 2008 VGP regulates discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels operating in a capacity as a means of transportation. The VGP includes general effluent limits applicable to all discharges; general effluent limits applicable to 26 specific discharge streams; narrative water-quality based effluent limits; inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements; and additional requirements applicable to certain vessel types (December 29, 2008).
- Court Order: Extension of Time to Comply with the VGP
- 2008 Final Permit
- 2008 Final Fact Sheet – Provides the technical basis for the derivation of VGP requirements.
- 2008 Final Economic and Benefits Analysis – Presents EPA’s economic and benefits analyses of the impact of the VGP on all affected vessels.
- December 29, 2008 Federal Register Notice announcing publication of the 2008 VGP (PDF)(9 pp, 206 KB, About PDF)
- 2008 VGP Press Release
- 2008 VGP Public Record
- 2007 Public Record for Development of NPDES Permits for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of a Vessel
- 2008 VGP Overview
- Modifications to Final 2008 VGP
- February 12th, 2009 Federal Register Notice (PDF)(5 pp, 187 KB, About PDF) – Issuance of VGP for Hawaii and Alaska.
- March 11, 2009 Federal Register Notice (PDF)(2 pp, 174 KB, About PDF) – Deletes specific state permit conditions for New Jersey, Illinois, and California.
- December 10, 2010 Federal Register Notice (PDF)(2 pp, 152 KB, About PDF) – Deletes specific state permit conditions for Pennsylvania and Iowa.
These newsletters provide periodic updates to the public about EPA's NPDES vessels program. Each newsletter provides information, such as meetings, publications, or activities that relate to the program.
- Vessels General Permit Settlement Agreement (Case 09-1089) – This settlement agreement is between EPA and several environmental groups and the state of Michigan regarding their legal challenge to the 2008 VGP (March 3, 2011).
- Court Order: Extension of Time to Comply with the VGP – This court order provides until February 6, 2009 for vessels to obtain coverage under the 2008 VGP (December 17, 2008).
- Decision on Petition for Rulemaking to Repeal 40 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40) Part 122.3(a) – EPA denies a petition submitted by a number of environmental groups and other interested parties seeking to repeal provisions of EPA's regulations that cover certain discharges from vessels, including the discharge of ballast water. EPA denies the petition for a variety of reasons, particularly because of the wide variety of regulatory and non-regulatory actions currently being taken by other federal agencies to address the potential introduction of invasive species from discharges of ballast water (September 2, 2003).
- Petition to Administrator Carole Browner from the Pacific-Environmental Advocacy Center for repeal of 40 CFR 122.3(a) – EPA receives a petition which requested that ships' ballast water be regulated under the NPDES program (January 1, 1999).
- Draft Ballast Water Report Factsheet: Aquatic Nuisance Species in Ballast Water Discharges – This fact sheet describes the draft Ballast Water Report, how to comment on the draft report, and EPA's response to the petition (September 10, 2001).
- EPA's Draft Ballast Water Report: Aquatic Nuisance Species in Ballast Water Discharges – In response to the petition, EPA investigated what mechanisms are available under the Clean Water Act and other relevant statutes and programs to control aquatic nuisance species (ANS) in ballast water discharges (September 10, 2001).
- Memorandum of Agreement between EPA, Office of Research and Development, and the US Coast Guard (June 12, 2001)
- Memorandum of Understanding between EPA, Office of Water, and the US Coast Guard (August 21, 2003
Subsequently, the petitioners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA, No. C 03-05760 SI). On March 30, 2005, the court granted summary judgment to plaintiffs, and on September 18, 2006, issued an order granting injunctive relief.
- U.S. District Court Order – Granting summary judgement to plaintiffs (March 30, 2005)
- Declaration of James A. Hanlon in Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA (October 20, 2005)
- September 2006 U.S. District Court Order – Granting injunctive relief (September 18, 2006)
- Declaration of James A. Hanlon in Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA (May 23, 2007)
- Fact Sheet on District Court Decision (April 2007)
- Submitting Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) under the 2013 VGP (January 22, 2015) Exit – Overview of the DMR requirements for the 2013 VGP annual report and how to use the Agency's eNOI system to prepare and submit that DMR data to EPA as part of the required annual reports.
- Submitting Annual Reports under the 2013 VGP (January 7, 2015) – Overview of the 2013 VGP annual reporting requirements and how to use the Agency's eNOI system to prepare and submit those reports.
- 2014 sVGP Permit Overview (September 23, 2014) Exit – Overview on the 2014 sVGP, including the background and applicable requirements of the permit for vessels less than 79 feet in length. Note that this webinar was presented prior to a three-year extension of the permitting moratorium for incidental discharges, other than ballast water, for vessels less than 79 feet in length.
- Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) as required under the 2013 VGP (February 14, 2014) Exit – Overview of EPA’s 2013 VGP EAL requirements and includes a discussion from EAL industry leaders on the technical specifications, application, and availability of EAL products.
- 2013 VGP Self-Sampling Requirements (February 6, 2014) Exit – Information on how to meet the sample collection and analysis monitoring requirements in the 2013 VGP, including identifying an appropriate laboratory and how to prepare sample equipment, collecting and transporting samples, and preparing required documentation.
- Submitting Notices of Intent (NOIs) under the 2013 VGP (November 14, 2013) – Overview of the 2013 VGP NOI requirements and how to use the Agency's eNOI system to prepare and submit those NOIs.
- Tribal Information and Consultation Session Presentation - Overview of EPA's proposed 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) and small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) (January 31, 2012) – Presentation given during the January 2012 tribal information and consultation session on the proposed VGP and sVGP.
- 2013 Draft VGP and sVGP (January 19, 2012) Exit – Overview of proposed requirements in EPA’s draft VGP and sVGP that were public noticed on December 8, 2011. These two permits were subsequently issued, on April 12, 2013 and September 10, 2014, respectively, based on public comments on the drafts.
- 2008 VGP Questions and Answers (July 27, 2009) Exit – Overview of EPA’s 2008 eNOI system and then answers a few frequently asked questions about the 2008 VGP. It also includes a discussion by three industry leaders on their experiences implementing the VGP. Note that the 2008 VGP has subsequently been reissued.
- Key Elements of the 2008 NPDES VGP (February 5, 2009) – Overview of EPA’s 2008 VGP, issued on December 18, 2008. The permit has subsequently been reissued.
- U.S. Clean Water Act: Regulatory Requirements for Vessel Operational Discharges (October 1, 2008) – Addresses CWA statutory requirements, court decisions and implications, as well as an overview of Proposed Vessel General Permit for Commercial Vessels.
- U.S. Clean Water Act: Permitting and Operational Discharges from Vessels (July 19, 2008) – Overview of the Clean Water Act permit basics, court decisions, and implications, as well as current EPA activities to respond to those court decisions.
- USCG's Ballast Water Regulatory Program Public Meeting: Draft NPDES Permitting Program (June 19, 24, 26, and July 21, 2008) – Reviews regulations on vessel discharges, supporting analyses, and the ballast water legislation.
Options to Curb the Transport of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus in Inter-lake Vessel Ballast - Investigates options to prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) via ballast water in vessels that traverse the Great Lakes (March 2019).
Analysis of Ballast Water Discharges into the Great Lakes from Overseas Vessels from 2010 to 2013 - An assessment of the volume, location, and global port origins of ballast water discharges in the Great Lakes (May 2015).
Report Data Tables (Excel)(1 pg, 667 K)
- Feasibility and Efficacy of Using Potable Water Generators as an Alternative Option for Meeting Ballast Water Discharge Limits - Overview of a study performed by EPA, in partnership with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), to assess the feasibility and efficacy of using potable water generators (PWGs) to manage ballast water (July 2015).
- Sampling Report: Simulated Ballast Water Intake Characterization Study for High and Low Suction Sea Chests on Lakers – Describes EPA efforts to identify whether meaningful differences exist between the characteristics of ambient water drawn near the lake bed through low sea chests on Great Lakes bulk carriers and that withdrawn higher in the water column through side sea chests (April 2015).
- Sampling Report for the Vessel General Permitting Program Pump Mortality Study - Describes EPA efforts to determine if emptying ballast tanks by pumping creates greater mortality for fish eggs and fish (minnows) than emptying ballast tanks by gravity draining (April 2015).
- Availability and Efficacy of Ballast Water Treatment Technology: Background and Issue Paper - Assesses the availability and efficacy of ballast water treatment systems in neutralizing (killing or removing) living organisms contained in the ballast water that would otherwise be discharged available and systems that are known to be in the development process. The scope of ballast water treatment technologies considered includes both systems that have been identified as currently available and systems that are known to be in the development process (June 1, 2010).
- Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants - Describes the range of environmentally preferable lubricants that may be used as a best management practice (BMP) by operators of vessels covered under the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels (VGP) (November 30, 2011).
- Exhaust Gas Scrubber Washwater Effluent – Information about effluent washwater discharges associated with the operation of exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCSs), also known as sulfur oxide (Sox) scrubbers, onboard vessels (November 30, 2011).
- Fish Hold Effluent and Fish Hold Cleaning Wastewater Discharge - Addresses fish hold effluent and fish hold cleaning wastewater, two common discharges from commercial fishing vessels. Commercial fishing vessels are vessels that commercially engage in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish and shellfish or an activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish and shellfish. Commercial fishing vessels include any vessels harvesting fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, or other aquatic organisms for commercial sale (June 30, 2011).
- Graywater Discharges from Vessels - Updated information on both vessel graywater discharge characteristics and recent developments in graywater treatment technologies (November 30, 2011).
- Oily Bilgewater Separators - Discusses oily bilgewater separators (November 30, 2011).
- Underwater Ship Husbandry Discharges - Updated information on recent developments in best management practices (BMPs) for reducing pollutant discharges during underwater ship husbandry (November 30, 2011).
- Summary of the VGP Vessel Universe: Information Submitted by Vessel Owner/Operators for Coverage under the 2008 Vessel General Permit (VGP) - Summary of the characteristics and conditions of vessel discharges based on information submitted in NOIs filed under the 2008 VGP (March 27, 2013).
- Ballast Water Self-Monitoring - Updated information on both recent developments in ballast water treatment technologies and the monitoring requirements to verify that ballast water treatment systems are functioning properly.
- EPA's Draft Ballast Water Report: Aquatic Nuisance Species in Ballast Water Discharges – EPA prepared this report in response to a January 13, 1999 petition to EPA from the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center that requested that EPA eliminate the regulatory exemption that currently prevents ballast water discharges from vessels from needing NPDES permits (September 10, 2001).