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REGULATORY REVIEW covered by the VGP, and maybe more (although much of placid and predictable stream. That won’t be easy.
this report is focused on ballast water). And, while the typ- VIDA is not just about ballast water, but ballast water ical workboat in U.S. waters isn’t impacted by ballast water does receive singular, focused attention within VIDA. The regulations, that’s also not always the case. Act requires, for example, a captain to conduct a ballast
Additionally, concurrent to VIDA’s Congressional de- water exchange or saltwater ? ush prior to calling on certain velopment, the Coast Guard has been working frantically US ports. It requires proper maintenance and performance to certify ballast water management systems – the equip- standards for ballast water management systems (BWMS) ment and processes that vessel operators can invest in with and requires a “valid type-approval certi? cate” for that sys- the con? dence that those systems will comply with current tem, similar to current requirements.
ballast water standards. Notably – and of great importance to individual U.S.
Importantly, whatever new discharge standards EPA and states – VIDA allows state and regional interests to partici- the Coast Guard eventually establish, those standards can- pate in standards development, although the Act keeps ? nal not be less stringent than current requirements for ef? uent decisions within EPA and the Coast Guard. Another im- limits and requirements for various types or classes of vessels. portant concept: VIDA seeks to “preserve the ? exibility of
Congress’ goal with VIDA is the development of nation- States” regarding program administration and enforcement.
al uniform vessel discharge standards, a system to replace today’s fragmented system that places varying demands lit-
Outreach & Engagement erally from state to state. VIDA’s implementation is a mar-
One initial, general focus for both the EPA and the U.S. riage of existing vessel discharge policies with the Act’s new Coast Guard, in the ? rst six months, has been stakeholder demands. VIDA’s starting line is within an already swirling outreach and engagement. The agencies have developed set of issues. As noted, EPA and the Coast Guard have less two interactive webinars presenting an overview of VIDA, than four years to make very choppy waters into a serene, providing a chance for people to ask questions and com-
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