Summary: H.R.5609 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5609. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (09/18/2014)

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act - Sets forth provisions concerning standards for waste water discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, including discharges of ballast water (water taken into the ship's ballast to maintain stability).

Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish and implement enforceable uniform national standards for the regulation of discharges from vessels into navigable waters and best management practices for discharges other than ballast water.

Sets as the national standard the Coast Guard's 2012 "Standards for Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters." Requires DHS to revise the ballast water performance standard so that those discharges will contain less than specified concentrations of living organisms, indicator microbes, and viruses if DHS finds that the standard would be feasible.

Requires ballast water treatment technology to be certified by DHS. Prohibits DHS from certifying a technology that uses certain biocides (substances or organisms introduced into or produced by the technology to reduce or eliminate aquatic nuisance species).

Sets forth exemptions from permit requirements, prohibitions of any other law, and discharge standards under this Act for specified discharges and vessels.

Authorizes DHS to establish alternative programs for compliance with ballast water discharge regulations for specified vessels. Directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate standards for the reception of ballast water from a vessel into a reception facility and the disposal or treatment of the ballast water.

Establishes this Act as the exclusive statutory authority for federal regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel to which this Act applies.