The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018 (VIDA 2018) was enacted at the end of the 115th Congressional session within the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018. VIDA 2018 adds significant new legislative requirements to existing law on discharges of sewage, oil, chemicals, and ballast water. One aspect of VIDA 2018 which will impact approvals of ballast water treatment systems is a directive to the United States Coast Guard to change the way non-viable aquatic species are characterized. The other aspect of VIDA 2018 which will potentially have an even greater impact on ballast water treatment systems is new discharge standards for the Pacific Region of the United States. This paper will discuss these new legislative requirements, the background behind both changes to existing regulations, what impacts these changes may have on ballast water treatment, how these changes may affect ship operators, and where the industry may go forwards.
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