EPA Releases Proposal to Better Protect Ecosystems from Incidental Discharges of Marine Vessels
EPA proposed standards to reduce the environmental impact of discharges, such as ballast water, that are incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels. When finalized, this new rule will streamline the current patchwork of federal, state, and local requirements that apply to the commercial vessel community and better protect our nation's marine waters.
EPA is proposing to establish national standards of performance for incidental discharges from commercial vessels as required under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). The proposed rule includes discharge-specific standards for 20 different types of vessel equipment and treatment systems, as well as general performance standards that would apply more broadly to the full range of incidental discharges.
The proposed rule also outlines procedures for states working through EPA or the U.S. Coast Guard to seek more stringent requirements, request emergency orders, or apply for no-discharge zones for one or more of the incidental discharges in any or all state waters.
EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 30 days, following publication in the Federal Register.