House passes vessel discharge legislation

The following is text of a news release from the American Great Lakes Ports Associations:

(WASHINGTON) — Late Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed S. 140, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018. The bill includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), which will simplify the chaotic landscape of federal and state discharge regulations.

Under the legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency will establish new discharge standards to be enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard. Individual states will be pre-empted from regulating commercial vessel discharges. Because the House passed the Senate-approved bill unchanged, the legislation will now go to the president for signature.

By Professional Mariner Staff