On March 11, 2009, the EPA issued a Notice Regarding National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of a Vessel. This Notice affects the VGP for the States of New Jersey, Illinois and California.

EPA previously announced the final NPDES general permit for discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels, also referred to as the Vessel General Permit (VGP) on December 29, 2008. The permit became effective December 19, 2008.  Today’s notice of availability provides notice of EPA’s deletion of specific State section 401 certification conditions from Part 6 of the VGP for the States of New jersey, Illinois, and California.

Through the certification process under the Clean Water Act, States were given the opportunity to add conditions to the permit they believe are necessary to ensure that the permit complies with the Clean Water Act and other appropriate requirements of State law, including State water quality standards.  Since the effective date of the VGP, New Jersey, Illinois and California all modified their certification for the VGP, deleting certification conditions:

  • New Jersey deleted certification conditions 1 and 2;
  • Illinois deleted certification condition 9;
  • California deleted certification conditions 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, and 7.1 and 7.2 from certification condition 16 and Attachments 4, 5, and 6 from certification 17.

Since pursuant to Clean Water Act regulations (40 CFR 124.55(b)) the EPA may, at the request of a permittee, modify the VGP based on a modified certification received after final agency action on the permit “only to the extent necessary to delete any conditions based on a condition in a certification invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction or by an appropriate State board or agency, EPA has removed these deleted certification conditions from the VGP.

EPA’s letters notifying the requesting permittees that their requests to delete the permit conditions were granted, can be found in the docket for the VGP (Docket ID no. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0055)

A copy of the VGP reflecting those deletions can found on the EPA’s website:  http://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels.