Just like other transportation methods, vessels are subject to environmental regulations that police the amounts and types of pollutants they discharge. The EPA now requires that all vessels carry a vessel general permit in order to continue to operate.
1. What Is a Vessel General Permit?
A vessel general permit, or VGP, controls emissions such as bilge and ballast water, graywater, and deck runoff. Owners must maintain permits by keeping records of all waste and subjecting their vessels to regular inspections.
2. Who Enforces VGP Rules?
Members of the Coast Guard are responsible for monitoring vessels and VGPs. They conduct annual or semi-annual inspections of both records and the vessels themselves. If your records are faulty or absent, or if your VGP is outdated, you must remedy the issue within an amount of time comparable to the extent of the changes needed.
3. How Do You Obtain a VGP?
Owners must submit a Notice of Intent, or NOI, to the EPA in order to obtain a vessel . The NOI form is accessible on the EPA’s website.
Despite being a relatively new expectation, vessel owners must maintain a current VGP for every vessel in operation, as well as records that indicate how much of each pollutant the vessel has emitted. While many anticipate future changes to the VGP, you can check the EPA’s website to ensure that your vessel stays up to code.