Water: Habitat Protection
Rulemaking Petition Related to Ballast Water
On September 3, 2003, EPA denied a rulemaking petition submitted by a number of interested parties that sought to repeal a long-standing provision of EPA's regulations excluding certain discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels, including ballast water, from permitting under the Clean Water Act. That petition expressed concerns regarding discharges of ships’ ballast water containing invasive species. EPA denied the petition for a variety of reasons, as explained in EPA's decision on the rulemaking petition and related supporting documents (see links below). Subsequently, the petitioners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA, No. C 03-05760 SI). On March 30, 2005, the court granted summary judgment to plaintiffs, and on September 18, 2006, issued an order granting injunctive relief (see links below).
Vessel Discharge Permit Program Under Development
In light of the Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) litigation., EPA has now developed two general NPDES permits which it is proposing for public comment. More information is available on those permits on the NPDES Website.
- Decision on Petition for Rulemaking to Repeal 40 C.F.R. 122.3(a) (PDF) (18 pp, 80K)
- Petition to Administrator Carole Browner from the Pacific-Environmental Advocacy Center for repeal of 40 CFR 122.3(a) (12 pp, 503K) Please note that this document is rather old; and so some information, such as phone numbers, may be out of date. Please contact the Oceans and Coastal Protection Division (202-566-1200) if you need any assistance with this document.
- Memorandum of Agreement Between EPA, Office of Research and Development, and the US Coast Guard (PDF) (11 pp, 85K)
- Memorandum of Understanding Between EPA, Office of Water, and the US Coast Guard (PDF) (6 pp, 202K)
- Aquatic Nuisance Species in Ballast Water Discharges: Issues and Options (PDF) (58 pp, 663K)
- March 2005 U.S. District Court Order Granting Summary Judgment (PDF) (19 pp, 124K)
- September 2006 U.S. District Court Order Granting Injunctive Relief (PDF) (21 pp, 150K)
- Declaration of James A. Hanlon in Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA (October 20, 2005) (PDF) (36 pp, 1.3MB)
- Declaration of James A. Hanlon in Northwest Environmental Advocates et al. v. EPA (May 23, 2007) (PDF) (15 pp, 661K)