VIDA bill gets through House

The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives May 17. If passed by Congress, the legislation will establish a single federal discharge standard. The bill requires the U.S. Coast Guard to determine and implement uniform national discharge standards for vessels. The federal law would override state-by-state standards.

The new ballast water regulations were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill establishes a certification requirement for ballast water treatment technology, with guidelines stating the Coast Guard may not approve a technology using a biocide or generating a biocide that’s a pesticide. Because VIDA is part of the House version of NDAA, it will be part of the House-Senate conference on the defense bill—even though it is not currently included in the Senate version of NDAA.

Maritime Editorial