December 22, 2008
Vessel discharge exemption extended
On December 19, the day the exemption for vessel discharges from regulation under the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program was set to expire, a federal judge issued an order extending the exemption until February 6, 2009. The court order extending the regulatory exemption came in response to an emergency motion filed December 18 by the U.S. Government and the Shipping Industry Ballast Water Coalition, of which AWO is a funding member.
Judge Susan Illston's order gives vessel owners an additional 48 days to comply with the Vessel General Permit (VGP) finalized by EPA and posted on the agency's Web site, which can be accessed by clicking here, on December 18. The final permit is expected to be published in the Federal Register in early January.
AWO says the extension was particularly important because the final permit includes state-imposed conditions, many of which had not been publicly available until the permit was posted.