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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AF92 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance 
Abstract:

On December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), establishing a new framework for the regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels. VIDA is part of Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018, which addresses several maritime and environmental policies. Under VIDA, the EPA is responsible for developing national performance standards for discharges from primarily commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length, and for ballast water from small vessels less than 79 feet and fishing vessels. The proposed rule is intended to implement the EPA statutory requirements under VIDA. Once EPA has finalized these standards, VIDA requires the U.S. Coast Guard to issue implementing regulations before the EPA regulations take effect.

 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Regulatory 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 139   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory    12/30/2020 

Statement of Need:

On December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), establishing a new framework for the regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels. VIDA is part of Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018, which addresses a number of maritime and environmental policies. Under VIDA, the EPA is responsible for developing national performance standards for discharges from primarily commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length, and for ballast water from small vessels less than 79 feet and fishing vessels. The proposed rule is intended to implement the EPA statutory requirements under VIDA. VIDA provides for EPA to finalize a rule within two years of VIDA’s enactment (December 04, 2020) and the US Coast Guard to finalize implementing regulations within a further two years. EPA and the US Coast Guard are coordinating up front to facilitate timely implementation of the final effective regulatory provisions.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The regulation will be proposed under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1322(p).

Alternatives:

The rulemaking is the result of a new statutory mandate and as such alternatives have not been developed.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Overall, the cost impacts of EPA's proposed rulemaking are limited since the principal effect of the VIDA is to transfer authority for establishing discharge standards from the NPDES permitting program to the new CWA section 312(p) program. In total, EPA projects that U.S.-flagged and U.S.-owned vessels will experience a net savings of $12.4 million annually as a result of EPA's proposed rulemaking. This regulatory relief is mainly due to the VIDA excluding small vessels and fishing vessels from incidental discharge standards, except for ballast water, which will result in annual cost savings of $22.2 million to the maritime community. Offsetting this savings are incremental annual costs to the maritime community of $5.5 million to meet congressionally mandated ballast water provisions in the VIDA and $4.3 million to meet new discharge standards for graywater and biofouling prevention. EPA performed a qualitative analysis of benefits and anticipates that the proposed rule will reduce discharges of pollutants from vessels; however, the Agency does not expect the proposed rule to change environmental benefits significantly compared to existing requirements since the proposed rule largely adopts those existing requirements as the new discharge standards. Some benefits will likely be lost because of the VIDA's exclusion of small vessels and fishing vessels from future discharge requirements.

Risks:

The rule, once implemented, will reduce environmental risks and is not expected to pose any health risks.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/26/2020  85 FR 67818   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/25/2020 
Final Rule  03/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Katherine Weiler
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4504T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1280
Email: weiler.katherine@epa.gov

Jack Faulk
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
4203M,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-0768
Fax:202 564-6431
Email: faulk.jack@epa.gov