On 18 October 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to its original October 2020 rulemaking notice to include updates as it relates to Coast Guard Ballast Water equipment data, accounting of graywater discharge, accounting of vessel biofouling management practices, etc. This notice addresses EPA concerns for vessel discharges considered “incidental to the normal operation” of U.S. and foreign vessels, in excess of 79ft in length, transiting U.S. waters. Discharge of effluents in the course of normal operations conducted by vessels in transport service and offshore energy operations is a consideration with which the maritime industry has been, and continues to be, vigilant towards in regards to protecting marine life.
The drilling industry is particularly interested in contributing to this EPA effort in the form of insightful and balanced recommendations on measures that can enhance prevailing safety and sustainability challenges. IADC looks forward to the opportunity to comment on this rulemaking via the comment/consultation period that is now open through 18 December 2023.