Vessel Deconstruction General Permit

The Vessel Deconstruction General Permit (VDGP) is a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that regulates the deconstruction of vessels. The permit controls the discharge of pollutants from stormwater, drydock floodwater, and non-stormwater discharges associated with vessel deconstruction activities into waters of the state.

Older vessels near the end of their lifecycle pose significant risks to public health, safety, and the environment. Because the decommission and disposal of these vessels is a high priority, we have developed and issued this general permit to create additional options for deconstruction of vessels.

This permit went into effect on Dec. 1, 2014, and expires Nov. 30, 2019.

Current permit documents

Reissuance - 2019

We are pleased to announce that the draft Vessel Deconstruction General Permit is available for public comment. We invite comments on the draft permit documents beginning Aug. 21, 2019, until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2019. We will publish a Response to Comments as an appendix to the Fact Sheet to address comments submitted during the public comment period.

What's changing:

Proposed changes to the permit include:
  • Revising the application process
  • Adding the ability to maintain permit coverage and be inactive
  • Adding the ability to deconstruct multiple vessels under a single permit coverage

How to provide comments

We will accept comments from Aug. 21, 2019, until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2019.

You may submit comments:

Online: Submit your comments through our online comments form (preferred method)

By mail: Adrien Carroll-Perkins
               Washington State Department of Ecology 
               PO Box 47696
               Olympia, WA  98504-7696

In person: You may provide comments during any of our public hearings

Workshops and hearings

We will host a workshop immediately followed by a public hearing at the following dates and locations:

During the workshops, we will explain the proposed changes to the permit and answer questions. The hearings will begin after the public workshops and will end when public testimony is complete. During the hearings, you may give oral testimony and written comments on the proposed changes. Written comments will receive the same consideration as oral testimony.


Summer 2019: Formal public comment period on the draft permit
November 2019: Decision on permit issuance

An old rusty vessel that is partially deconstructed.

Vessel in the process of deconstruction.

Do I need a permit?

You are required to obtain coverage under the vessel deconstruction general permit for any activities involving dismantling any portion of a vessel hull, topside, or superstructure while the vessel is over water, on a dry-dock, or on a barge. Our focus sheet explains the different types of permit coverage related to vessel deconstruction and when you would need to obtain coverage under this permit.

Deconstruction activities conducted within a facility already covered by an individual or other applicable general NPDES permit for this work do not require coverage under the vessel deconstruction permit. You are not required to obtain coverage under this permit for activities related to vessel retrieval.

Permit application and forms