EPA Issues Proposed Supplemental Rule on Ballast Water Discharges

On October 26, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). These standards applied to marine pollution control devices for discharges incidental to the normal operation of primarily non-military and non-recreational vessels 79 feet in length and above into the waters of the United States or the waters of the contiguous zone.

In an October 18, 2023 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM), EPA announced the availability of and analysis of new data related to ballast water management system performance. The agency is also soliciting comment on supplemental regulatory options for the standards and definitions applicable to ballast tanks, hull and niche areas, and graywater systems.

While the SNPRM will impose requirements on any small entity that operates a vessel subject to the standards, EPA has certified that it will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities.

EPA will be holding two virtual public meetings on the SNPRM.

Comments are due on December 18, 2023.

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