In addition to intergovernmental efforts and research to detect and monitor aquatic nuisance species (ANS), the EPA addresses ANS using numerous regulatory tools.
The EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP) and Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) regulate discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels, including ballast water and hull fouling, which are both pathways for introductions of aquatic nuisance species. The EPA and the Department of Defense are jointly developing the Uniform National Discharge Standards for vessels of the Armed Forces which will also regulate ballast water and hull fouling to help control the introduction of aquatic nuisance species.
Note: On December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, which includes as Title IX the Vessel Incident Discharge Act of 2018 (“VIDA”). The new regulations will replace the EPA’s 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”). EPA first issued the Vessel General Permit (VGP) in 2008 and subsequently reissued it in 2013.