EPA Vessel General Permit

From commercial fishing to transporting cargo, Washington's vessels are an essential part of the economy. Vessels can contribute to marine pollution which affects aquatic life. Some pollutants can be carried up the food chain to the fish that people eat. Pollution prevention has been targeted under the EPA Vessel General Permit.

This is a permit administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It allows 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.

We have this on our website to provide guidance to understand and implement your permit in Washington; however, we do not issue the permit. Find more information by visiting EPA's Vessel General Permit website.

The current EPA permit went into effect Dec. 19, 2013 and expires Dec. 18, 2018.


Notice of Intent for vessels:

  • 300 tons or more.
  • Can hold or discharge more than eight cubic meters of ballast water.

Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection form for vessels:

  • Less than 300 tons.
  • Cannot hold or discharge more than eight cubic meters of ballast water.


Where does the permit apply?

  • VGP requirements generally extend three nautical miles from shore.
  • The state constitution says state waters extend to Canadian marine waters at the 49th parallel. See map for boundary details.

Permit implementation guidance

Contacts for assistance

US EPA Headquarters

Ryan Albert

Robin Danesi


EPA Region 10 Ecology staff WA Department of Fish and Wildlife