The VGP usually incorporates existing USCG requirements in those areas (blackwater,
graywater, ballast water, bilge water, etc.) where the USCG traditionally
The VGP contains a narrative requirement to meet water quality standards.
The VGP contains technology-based effluent limits for just about all vessel
discharges except for blackwater.
Blackwater is not covered because CWA § 502(6) leaves vessel sewage out of
the definition of pollutant and CWA § 312 gives authority to regulate vessel
sewage to the Coast Guard.
The VGP specifies open ocean exchange as the standard requirement for
ballast water management until the numeric ballast water discharge limits in
VGP Part 184.108.40.206 become effective in accordance with the schedule in
The VGP regulates ballast water management during coastal voyages and
management of ballast tank sediments more stringently than current Coast
The VGP regulates 26 types of discharges including deck runoff, deck and
hull washdown, bilgewater, ballast water, hull coating leachate and
underwater hull cleaning, fire fighting foam, boiler blowdown, cathodic
protection, chain locker effluent, hydraulic and lubricating fluids,
desalinization brine, exhaust scrubber wastewater, graywater and graywater
with sewage, and others.
The VGP contains class-specific requirements for large cruise ships, medium
cruise ships, large ferries, barges, oil tankers, and research vessels.