Today, the US EPA and USCG gave the first Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) webinar to provide an overview of the requirements and describe the process ahead. US EPA and USCG emphasized that the existing Vessel General Permit (VGP) requirements and USCG ballast water management regulations are still in force until promulgation of the final VIDA regulation – including reporting requirements.
VIDA is a two-step process involving EPA establishing the performance standards and USCG establishing the implementing, monitoring, and enforcement regulations. EPA estimates that the VIDA performance standard proposal will occur in early 2020 with a planned 30-day comment period. The goal is finalizing the regulation in December 2020. The USCG will begin proposing the enforcement requirements after the final EPA VIDA regulation. Enforcement of VIDA requirements are estimated to occur two years after the final USCG rules are published.
Public Engagement Opportunities
Webinar – This was the first webinar. Another webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15th that will be similar except for the questions asked by participants. To register go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3129022474263622668
Listening Session (May 29th – 30th at Kings Point, NY) – This will be initially similar to the webinars but will also focus on some specific discharges. The point of the Listening Sessions is to solicit comments on any new activities or new improvements to ship discharges and will include an opportunity for public input. Register for this session at https://projects.erg.com/conferences/epa/register-vida.asp.
VIDA will impact ballast water management regulations in the US due to the new enhanced ballast exchange requirement for specific areas as well as EPA and USCG needing to address differences in the existing VGP and USCG ballast water management regulations.
Choice Ballast Solutions will be engaged throughout the VIDA regulatory process to ensure that our expertise in ballast water management implementation issues as well as the overall VGP requirements may help develop a regulation that ensures shipowner concerns are taken into account. Contact Debra DiCianna, Senior Compliance Engineer for more information.