Text: S.3298 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 110-299 (07/31/2008)

 
[110th Congress Public Law 299]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ299.110]

[[Page 122 STAT. 2995]]

Public Law 110-299
110th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To clarify the circumstances during which the Administrator of the 
   Environmental Protection Agency and applicable States may require 
    permits for discharges from certain vessels, and to require the 
Administrator to conduct a study of discharges incidental to the normal 
       operation of vessels. <<NOTE: July 31, 2008 -  [S. 3298]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1342 note.>>  DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Covered vessel.--The term ``covered vessel'' means a 
        vessel that is--
                    (A) less than 79 feet in length; or
                    (B) a fishing vessel (as defined in section 2101 of 
                title 46, United States Code), regardless of the length 
                of the vessel.
            (3) Other terms.--The terms ``contiguous zone'', 
        ``discharge'', ``ocean'', and ``State'' have the meanings given 
        the terms in section 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control 
        Act (33 U.S.C. 1362).
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 33 USC 1342 note.>>  DISCHARGES INCIDENTAL TO 
                    NORMAL OPERATION OF VESSELS.

    (a) No Permit Requirement.--Except <<NOTE: Time period.>>  as 
provided in subsection (b), during the 2-year period beginning on the 
date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, or a State in the case 
of a permit program approved under section 402 of the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342), shall not require a permit under 
that section for a covered vessel for--
            (1) any discharge of effluent from properly functioning 
        marine engines;
            (2) any discharge of laundry, shower, and galley sink 
        wastes; or
            (3) any other discharge incidental to the normal operation 
        of a covered vessel.

    (b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to--
            (1) rubbish, trash, garbage, or other such materials 
        discharged overboard;
            (2) other discharges when the vessel is operating in a 
        capacity other than as a means of transportation, such as when--
                    (A) used as an energy or mining facility;

[[Page 122 STAT. 2996]]

                    (B) used as a storage facility or a seafood 
                processing facility;
                    (C) secured to a storage facility or a seafood 
                processing facility; or
                    (D) secured to the bed of the ocean, the contiguous 
                zone, or waters of the United States for the purpose of 
                mineral or oil exploration or development;
            (3) any discharge of ballast water; or
            (4) any discharge in a case in which the Administrator or 
        State, as appropriate, determines that the discharge--
                    (A) contributes to a violation of a water quality 
                standard; or
                    (B) poses an unacceptable risk to human health or 
                the environment.
SEC. 3. STUDY OF DISCHARGES INCIDENTAL TO NORMAL OPERATION OF 
                    VESSELS.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator, in consultation with the 
Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating and 
the heads of other interested Federal agencies, shall conduct a study to 
evaluate the impacts of--
            (1) any discharge of effluent from properly functioning 
        marine engines;
            (2) any discharge of laundry, shower, and galley sink 
        wastes; and
            (3) any other discharge incidental to the normal operation 
        of a vessel.

    (b) Scope of Study.--The study under subsection (a) shall include--
            (1) characterizations of the nature, type, and composition 
        of discharges for--
                    (A) representative single vessels; and
                    (B) each class of vessels;
            (2) determinations of the volumes of those discharges, 
        including average volumes, for--
                    (A) representative single vessels; and
                    (B) each class of vessels;
            (3) a description of the locations, including the more 
        common locations, of the discharges;
            (4) analyses and findings as to the nature and extent of the 
        potential effects of the discharges, including determinations of 
        whether the discharges pose a risk to human health, welfare, or 
        the environment, and the nature of those risks;
            (5) determinations of the benefits to human health, welfare, 
        and the environment from reducing, eliminating, controlling, or 
        mitigating the discharges; and
            (6) analyses of the extent to which the discharges are 
        currently subject to regulation under Federal law or a binding 
        international obligation of the United States.

    (c) Exclusion.--In carrying out the study under subsection (a), the 
Administrator shall exclude--
            (1) discharges from a vessel of the Armed Forces (as defined 
        in section 312(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 
        U.S.C. 1322(a));
            (2) discharges of sewage (as defined in section 312(a) of 
        the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1322(a))

[[Page 122 STAT. 2997]]

        from a vessel, other than the discharge of graywater from a 
        vessel operating on the Great Lakes; and
            (3) discharges of ballast water.

    (d) Public Comment; Report.--The <<NOTE: Federal 
Register, publication.>>  Administrator shall--
            (1) publish in the Federal Register for public comment a 
        draft of the study required under subsection (a);
            (2) after taking into account any comments received during 
        the public comment period, develop a final report with respect 
        to the study; and
            (3) not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of 
        this Act, submit the final report to--
                    (A) the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and
                    (B) the Committees on Environment and Public Works 
                and Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

    Approved July 31, 2008.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 3298:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 154 (2008):
            July 22, considered and passed Senate and House.

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