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EPA Vessel General Permit

A US District court ruled in March 2005 that the permitting exemption for “discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel” was not legal and would soon cease to exist.

EPA issued the Vessel General Permit (VGP) in December 2008 in advance of the expiration of the exemption so that ships could continue to legally operate in U.S. waters.

We are providing this webpage to assist vessel operators and the public understand the VGP. However, no summary can substitute for studying the VGP and related documents, especially if you are a vessel operator.

EPA vessel general permit information (EPA website)

Permit requirements

Information on applying

Vessel general permit history (.pdf)

Contact information

USS Constitution

Focus Sheet: Guidance on Hull Cleaning in Washington State Waters