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EPA issues amendment to 2013 VGP guidelines

Total Lubmarine and VGP guidelines

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that ship operators will not need to update their 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) before its 18 December 2018 expiration date. The EPA is encouraging ship operators currently without a permit to seek coverage ahead of the 18 December 2018 date.

The EPA says that it hopes to have a new permit proposal ready by Spring 2019. The EPA first issued the VGP in 2008 and subsequently reissued it in 2013. The VGP provides for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for incidental discharges into waters of the United States from commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length and for ballast water from commercial vessels of all sizes. EPA estimates that approximately 61,000 domestically flagged commercial vessels and approximately 8,000 foreign flagged vessels require VGP permit coverage for such incidental discharges.

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According to the VGP, a regular seal has an oil-to-sea interface and EPA indicates that every oil-to-sea interface has to use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs). Total Lubmarine supplies a range of bio-lubes and greases (EALs) which comply with the EPA’s regulations. These include hydraulic, gear and stern tube oils as well as bio-greases. The range can be used on machinery operating in severe conditions, including high and low temperatures as well as high levels of humidity.

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