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EPA NPDES Vessel General Permit (VGP) Extension and Status Update

CIRCULAR 028-08 21 December 2008 *Summary The EPA issued the finalized VGP regulations on December 18, 2008. However, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California signed an extension order providing that "the exemption for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, contained in 40 C.F.R. 122.3(a), would not be vacated until February 6, 2009. Therefore, the regulated community need not comply with the terms of the finalized permit until February 6, 2009. OBriens recommends that our clients develop a compliance program based upon the requirements of the finalized VGP regulations issued by the EPA on December 18, 2008. This will demonstrate your intent to comply with the new regulations when they come into effect on February 6, 2009. *Update We are currently working on updating the Compliance Guide to reflect the changes made to the proposed regulations so that we can reissue it as a Compliance Document to our clients by the end of calendar year 2008. The Compliance Document will aid in meeting the requirements of the finalized VGP. It may be incorporated into the existing SMS system or be kept as a stand alone Company Policy. The Compliance Document will cover each section of the finalized VGP regulations. Those companies that have already purchased the Compliance Guide will be issued the Compliance Document at no additional cost as soon as it is available. Otherwise, the Compliance Document will be available for a one time fee of $250 USD per company. OBriens will be providing the copyrighted documents electronically. As such, permission is granted to reproduce the Compliance Document for each of your vessels. OBriens can also arrange enrollment of your vessels into the VGP by submitting the Notice of Intent (NOI) on your behalf. This will require a signed letter on company letter head designating the authority to OBriens to certify the information on the NOI and submit it to the EPA. This will enable us to carry out your request. In the signed letter also please list each vessel(s) with IMO #(s) for which this authority has been designated. There is an additional charge of $100 USD per vessel for the submission of the NOI. The NOI will be submitted one time for each vessel, not every time a vessel calls a U.S. port. Please note: There is a six month grace period from December 19, 2008 for submitting the NOI, which acts as a statement of certification that a vessel is in compliance with the VGP. Many clients have already requested OBriens submit the NOI for their vessels to the EPA. We will honor your requests, but there is no reason to rush to do so at present, since it will not be required until June 19, 2008. We will notify you prior to completing the NOI submission(s) and will not invoice your company until the submission process is completed. We will also keep you updated on the status of the electronic (eNOI) system as more information becomes available. What is imperative is that you have a Company Policy (the Compliance Guide/Document) in place to address the implementation, monitoring, and documentation of best management practices for each of the applicable discharges from your vessels that operate in U.S. waters (0-3 miles) starting February 6, 2009.

*EPA NPDES Vessel Discharges Website More information and frequent updates regarding the implementation of the final Vessel General Permit including the finalized VGP regulations, who is required to submit an NOI, and the timelines for doing so can be found on the EPA website: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350

*For Additional Information For general inquiries regarding this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us at inquiry@oopsusa.com. Chris Gregory Vice President, Vessel Services E-mail: chris.gregory@theobriensgroup.com 24-Hour Emergency Assistance: (985) 781-0804 Sean Rock Manager, Compliance and Consulting E-mail: sean.rock@theobriensgroup.com