The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking additional public input on their proposed Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance that aims to reduce the environmental impact of discharges, such as ballast water. The proposed standards would only apply to discharges to waters of the United States from:
- Commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length
- Other non-recreational, non-Armed Forces vessels, such as research and emergency rescue vessels
- Ballast water only from small vessels (vessels less than 79 feet in length) and fishing vessels of all sizes
EPA’s supplemental notice shares new ballast water information from the U.S. Coast Guard and additional regulatory options EPA is considering for the final rule for ballast tanks, hulls and associated niche areas, and graywater systems. The agency is requesting comments on the issues identified in the supplemental notice during a 60-day public comment period. The public does not need to resubmit comments from the 2020 proposed rule, as the final rule will address comments received on both the proposed rule and the supplemental notice. More information on submitting comments on the proposal and upcoming virtual public meetings can be found here.