Update on Issuance of 2018 Vessel General Permit
During BWMTech North America, Mr. Jack Faulk, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addressed the expiration of the current 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) and the release of the 2018 VGP. The draft 2018 VGP will not be published by expiration of the 2013 VGP on December 18, 2018. The EPA has determined that the 2013 VGP will be “administratively extended” beyond December 18, 2018.
The draft 2018 VGP is estimated to be published in Spring 2019 and have a 30-day comment period, at a minimum, with the final version estimated to be issued in late Summer 2019.
The immediate concern is coverage of vessels that do not have an active Notice of Intent (NOI). For vessels with an active NOI, the vessel may continue to operate and submit reports to the EPA.
For vessels without an active NOI, the vessel operator needs to submit an NOI before December 18, 2018. The EPA will not be able to issue new NOIs after expiration of the 2013 VGP on December 18, 2018. For vessels under construction, an NOI may be submitted before delivery of the vessel.
Any vessel – existing or under construction – that may want to operate in U.S. waters needs to submit an NOI by December 18, 2018. Further information on submitting an NOI is located on the EPA VGP website at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels-vgp.