Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law (07/31/2008)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Prohibits the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or a state with an approved National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, from requiring an NPDES permit for a covered vessel for the next two years for any discharge: (1) of effluent from properly functioning marine engines; (2) of laundry, shower, and galley sink wastes; or (3) that is incidental to the normal operation of a covered vessel. Defines "covered vessel" to mean a vessel that is less than 79 feet in length or a fishing vessel.

Requires the Administrator to evaluate the impacts of such discharges, excluding discharges: (1) from a vessel of the Armed Forces; (2) of sewage from a vessel, other than the discharge of graywater from a vessel operating on the Great Lakes; and (3) of ballast water. Requires the Administrator to: (1) provide for public comment on a draft of such evaluation; and (2) submit a final report to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Provides that such prohibition does 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; (3) ballast water discharges; or (4) any discharge that contributes to a violation of a water quality standard or poses an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.