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ENB Multiregion and Statewide Completed Applications 10/08/2008


US Environmental Protection Agency
Region 2
290 Broadway
New York, NY 1007-1866


Commercial and Large Recreational Vessels

Application ID:


Permit(s) Applied for:

Section 401 Water Quality Certificate

Project Location:

Waters of the State of New York

Project Description:

The United State Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is seeking Section 401 Water Quality Certifications for its proposed general permit - the Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Commercial and Large Recreational Vessels (VGP). The VGP is being issued by USEPA under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The USEPA requests that the New York State determine the proposed permit's compliance with Clean Water Act Sections 401, 301,302,303,306,and 307, and with applicable New York State law and regulations.

The NYSDEC proposes to grant a conditioned Section 401 Water Quality Certificate for the VGP. For vessels operating in New York Waters the discharge of ballast water will initially require ballast water exchange for vessels with ballast on board or saltwater flushing of ballast water tanks for vessels carrying only ballast water residuals, prior to entering New York waters. Beginning January 1, 2012, vessels will be required to have ballast water treatment systems meet standards that are 100 times more stringent than the standards contained in Regulation D-2 of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments.

The NYSDEC also will require new vessels operating in New York Waters constructed on or after January 1, 2013 to meet standards that are 1,000 times more stringent than the standards contained in Regulation D-2 of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments

The proposed Certificate prohibits the discharge of treated or untreated graywater into the Waters of New York State within three nautical miles of shorelines, or in Long Island Sound, New York Harbor, and the Hudson River Estuary.

The Certification will expire five years after the date of issuance of the VGP.

The USEPA's request for certification established August 23, 2008, as the deadline for making a final determination on certification. This deadline was extended to September 30, 2008 and again to November 3, 2008. The additional extension provides additional time for public comment and Department consideration of comments, but does not provide time for a public hearing should there be significant public interest. Public comments will be accepted as provided under Opportunity for Public Comment.

Availability of Application Documents:

Filed application documents and the Department's draft Water Quality Certifications are available for inspection during normal business hours at the address of the Contact Person identified below. It is recommended that an appointment be made with the contact person beforehand. The draft Water Quality Certification is also available on the NYSDEC web-site at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6061.html.

State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination:

This is an unlisted action under SEQR, and will not have a significant impact on the environment. A Negative Declaration is on file.

SEQR Lead Agency: None Designated

State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination:

The proposed activity is not subject to review in accordance with SHPA. The permit type is exempt or the activity is being reviewed in accordance with federal historic preservation regulations.

Coastal Management:

The proposed activity is located in the Coastal Management areas and is subject to the Waterfront Revitalization and Coastal Resources Act.

Opportunity for Public Comment:

Comments on the draft Water Quality Certifications must be submitted in writing to the contact person no later than October 24, 2008.

Contact Person:

Francis Zagorski
NYSDEC, Division of Water, 4th Floor
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-3505
(518) 402- 8168

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