On October 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially proposed its new Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance.
In a Maritime Client Alert, law firm Jones Walker notes that the new Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) consolidates and restructures the regulatory framework for nonmilitary and nonrecreational vessel incidental discharges, clarifies future regulatory coverage, requires the EPA to establish standards of pollution devices, and requires the U.S. Coast Guard to establish implementing regulations to reduce pollutants from most vessels. The VIDA requires the EPA to consult with interested governors and to obtain concurrence from the USCG. The USCG has two years to develop implementing, compliance, and enforcement rules after the EPA publishes its standards. The EPA’s new standards are to be as stringent as its 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) standards and also be technology based.
The USCG’s implementing regulations are not due until after 2022, and their exact format (e.g., permits, certificates) is not presently known. The EPA’s notice does not address the procedures that the USCG will follow when it implements and enforces the EPA’s standards. It is anticipated that the USCG’s implementing regulations will address these important issues.
Read the Jones Walker client alert HERE