Today from 9-5 the EPA is holding a listening session to obtain feedback from the public on improving the next Vessel General Permit (VGP).
The VGP is a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that regulates discharges “incidental to the normal operation of vessels operating in a capacity as a means of transportation.” All vessels weighing 300 gross tons or more (or those that have to ability to hold or discharge more than 8 cubic meters of ballast) must apply for coverage under the permit. Vessel operators can submit the requisite Notice of Intent here.
The final version of the most recent VGP became effective in 2008 and is set to expire in 2013. As part of the process for developing the next version, the EPA is seeking input on questions such as “Were parts of the 2008 VGP confusing? Do certain sections need to provide additional guidance?” and “Did the 2008 VGP accurately identify and capture all the discharge categories of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel in the vessel universe?”
The listening session will be held in the EPA East Building at 1201 Constitution Ave. NW, Room 1153, Washington, DC 20004. If you are unable to attend, you can submit comments by email to email@example.com, attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0828.