Vessel General Permits, or VGP, is a part of the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System of 2013. If you’re operating any vessel that discharges waste into the water, you probably need to understand VGPs and how you should care for your boat to meet those standards.
What Is a VGP?
Vessel permits allow vessel owners a certain amount of incidental discharge into waters. Permit regulations include details on what can come in contact with the water that still maintains environmental concerns and protection. It requires owners to keep records and make annual reports regarding the VGP. Even small vessel owners must comply with VGP.
Who Needs a Permit?
Only recreational vessels are excluded from the VGP. Initially, commercial vessels less than 79 feet long didn’t need a permit. However, this was overruled in 2013, and now all commercial and fishing vessels are required to have one.
Do You Need a Copy of the Permit Onboard?
You do not need to keep a copy of your VGP on your vessel. It is recommended by the EPA that you keep documents of it onboard as a reminder of compliance regulations. Look into where you boat, as some states with a section of the Clean Water Act require you uphold specific requirements.