General VGP Questions - EALs - Sampling and Monitoring - VGP Discharge Requirements

The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) second Vessel General Permit (VGP orPermit) for discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels took effect on 19 December2013. The second Vessel General Permit was finalized on March 28, 2013 and replace the 2008 VGP when it expired last December

The US EPA has recenlty developed by staff within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Wastewater Management frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address issues commonly raised to EPA regarding the VGP.

What changes are in the 2013 VGP?

For the first time, the 2013 VGP contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels. The 2013 VGP also contains more stringent effluent limits for oil to sea interfaces and exhaust gas scrubber washwater, which will improve environmental protection of U.S. waters. EPA has also improved the efficiency of several of the VGP's administrative requirements, including allowing electronic recordkeeping, requiring an annual report in lieu of the one-time report and annual noncompliance report, and requiring small vessel owners and/or operators to obtain coverage under the VGP by completing and agreeing to the terms of a Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection form.

FAQs on 2013 VGP do not substitute for provisions or requirements in the VGP and should not be interpreted to supersede the requirements of that permit. In the event there is a perceived conflict between the VGP or the VGP fact sheet and these FAQs, the VGP and or VGP Fact Sheet govern.

FAQs are divided into four sections as follows and may be found at EPA's website:

  • Section 1: General VGP Questions
  • Section 2: Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs)
  • Section 3: Sampling and Monitoring
  • Section 4: VGP Discharge Requirements

  • For more information on 2013 VGP please click at SAFETY4SEA article:

    Key Resources for the New VGP