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EPA Ballast Water Activities Ryan Albert 12/09/2009.

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Presentation on theme: "EPA Ballast Water Activities Ryan Albert 12/09/2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 EPA Ballast Water Activities Ryan Albert 12/09/2009

2 Clean Water Act Authority over Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels 35 year regulatory exemption from NPDES permitting of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel Due to court decision, this exemption was vacated as of February 6, 2009 As a result, most non-recreational vessels must have a 402 Clean Water Act NPDES permit to discharge legally EPA issued the Vessel General Permit to provide this coverage.

3 The CWA Requirements Vessels must have a CWA § 402 NPDES permit to discharge legally. Effluent Limits are required by CWA § 301(b). –Technology based [CWA § 304(b)] –Water quality based [CWA § 303] CWA § 401 allows States to certify Federal Permits. Statutory Exclusions. –Vessels operating as a means of transportation beyond 3 mile limit [CWA § 502(12)(B)]. –Sewage from vessels or discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels of the Armed Forces, within the meaning of § 312 [CWA § 502(6)(A)].

4 Current Vessel General Permit National in scope Covers 26 discharge types including ballast water Requires additional corrective action assessments, recordkeeping, reporting, and monitoring Pursuant to CWA § 401, 28 States, Tribes, and Territories provided additional permit conditions Is effective until December 19, 2013

5 VGP Ballast Water Requirements Incorporates Coast Guard mandatory management and exchange requirements Vessels engaged in Pacific Nearshore Voyages must conduct exchange greater than 50 nm from the coast Mandatory saltwater flushing for all vessels with residual ballast water and sediment (NOBOBs) coming from outside the USEEZ

6 VGP Ballast Water Requirements If vessel is capable, must use shore-based treatment if available and economically practicable and achievable Must conduct exchange as early as practicable Exchange/flushing requirements have a safety exemption and do not mandate diversion.

7 Ballast Water Treatment Standards EPA did not require numeric ballast water limits in the 2008 VGP. Why not? –At the time of permit issuance (12/18/2008), EPA found treatment technologies that could form the basis for such limits were not: Available and Economically achievable –Lack of data meeting these tests as of permit issuance. Some states added numeric limits for their state waters pursuant to CWA 401 certification. The VGP does have significant additional ballast water requirements which mitigate the threat of ANS introduction (e.g., pacific coastal exchange, national saltwater flushing requirements)

8 US EPA/Coast Guard Cooperation Regulatory and Permit Activities Technologies and Technology Evaluation Water Quality Protection VGP Compliance Assistance/Enforcement

9 Technology Evaluation and Development: ETV Protocols USCG and EPA joint efforts EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV) (EPA and USCG) –Represents more than 5 years of cooperation between EPA and USCG. –Developing protocols to reliable detect numbers of living organisms between 10-50 um, and 50+ um in ballast water discharges. –Work over five years has substantially improved methodologies. –Updated ETV protocols to be released in 2010.

10 Technology Evaluation and Development: GLNPO GLRI funding EPA understands and supports the immediate need to spur development of more effective ballast water treatment technology. Preventing introduction of and eradication of Invasive Species are one of the five major priority areas for funding through EPAs Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Significant funding committed to initiatives designed to result in more effective treatment of ballast water.

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