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Please note: This summary is provided to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act

Road Rail Air Water

On December 4, 2018, the President signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). VIDA requires EPA to develop new national standards of performance for commercial vessel incidental discharges and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to develop corresponding implementing regulations. 

Who is covered by the Regulations?

Pursuant to VIDA, the following interim requirements apply until EPA publishes future standards and the USCG publishes corresponding implementing regulations under VIDA (anticipated in 2023):

The EPA issued the 2013 VGP on April 12, 2013, with an effective period of December 19, 2013, to December 18, 2018 (i.e., five years). The VGP provided NPDES permit coverage nationwide for discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length. However, as described above, the VIDA legislation extends the 2013 VGP's provisions, leaving them in effect until new regulations are final and enforceable.

More Resources

Related TERC Topics

2013 Vessel General Permit

Ballast Water and Invasive Species



EPA Resources

Regulatory process and future requirements of VIDA.

EPA's Electronic Notice of Intent system (eNOI). Can be used to file information about vessel permit Notice of Intent, search for information on vessel NOIs submitted by vessel owners and operators, as well as update or terminate coverage under each permit.

VGP Background Information. Outlines how EPA regulates incidental vessel discharges. Furthermore, identifies why the NPDES vessels program only regulates certain discharges, and only from certain vessels.

Vessel Discharge Contacts. Identify relevant contacts at EPA headquarters and regional offices.

EPA VGP Point of contact: