The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance in the Federal Register on October 18, 2023. The notice highlights new ballast water information received from the U.S. Coast Guard and discusses additional regulatory options for ballast tanks, hulls, and associated niche areas, as well as graywater systems that the EPA is considering for the final rule.
The main objective of the Supplemental Notice is to gather feedback on the proposed regulations. Comments on the notice are due by December 18, 2023, and the EPA is soliciting comments solely on the information presented in the notice. It is important to note that resubmitting comments from the 2020 Proposed Rule or submitting additional comments on topics not addressed in the Supplemental Notice will not be considered.
How to Submit Comments
“All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for this rulemaking, Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2019–0482, by any of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ (our preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
- Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Office of Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
- Hand Delivery or Courier: EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Docket Center’s hours of operations are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Federal Holidays).
Comments received may be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from the docket.”
Two virtual public meetings will be hosted by the EPA during the comment period to introduce the supplemental notice, highlight supplemental regulatory options that EPA is considering for the final rule, and provide information on the public comment submission process. However, it is essential to note that these meetings are for informational purposes only and are not open for submitting comments on the Supplemental Notice. The public meeting schedule and additional details regarding the meetings will be announced on EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/vessels-marinas-and-ports/vessel-incidental-discharge-act-vida-stakeholder-engagement-opportunities.