WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) have agreed to better coordinate prevention and enforcement efforts against illegal discharges of pollutants from vessels such as cruise ships and oil tankers.
Under the memorandum of understanding, USCG agrees to incorporate components of EPA’s vessel general permit program into its existing inspection protocols and procedures.
The vessel permit covers 26 types of discharges—including “gray water” from laundry machines—that could negatively impact the environment. The program applies to more than 61,000 U.S.-based commercial ships and more than 8,000 foreign ships operating in U.S. waters.
The program also specifies corrective actions, self-inspections and self-monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
To read a copy of the memorandum of understanding, click here.
For more information on EPA’s vessel permit program, click here.