What Are Vessel General Permits?

You may have heard the term “vessel general permits.” Do you know what vessel general permits are?

What Are Vessel General Permits?

A vessel general permit is a compilation of the requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency that regulate 26 different emissions and effluents from marine vessels to maintain clean waterways.

Why Was the Vessel General Permit Developed?

EPA regulations did not originally include marine vessels in their pollutant laws. In February 2009, the EPA responded to the urging of environmental groups to eliminate the exclusion and regulate pollutants that are discharged from marine vessels over 79 feet in length.

In 2013, the EPA amended the requirements to include all marine vessels regardless of size, excluding only recreational vessels from the regulations.

Which Discharges Must Comply With the Vessel General Permit?

The VGP regulates almost all emissions and effluents from marine vessels, including, but not limited to:

  • Deck washdown
  • Bilge water
  • Boiler blowdown
  • Cathodic protection
  • Chain locker effluent
  • Fire main systems
  • Graywater discharges

What Is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?

Marine vessels that do not comply with vessel general permits can be subject to substantial fines. Violations can cost vessel owners anywhere from $10,000 to over $125,000, depending on the size of the vessel and the number of days in violation. Negligent or willful violations can result in criminal charges.

Now you know what vessel general permits are. Use this information to avoid non-compliance penalties.

Why Many Courts Have Rejected Educational Malpractice Lawsuits

These days, it seems litigation is as American as baseball and apple pie. Even schools are not exempt from legal action. Educational malpractice is the claim that a school did not provide an adequate education. So why have many courts rejected educational malpractice lawsuits?

Educational Malpractice is Hard To Prove

One person may believe a school, whether public, private, or university, didn’t provide sufficient educational opportunities. However, this can be difficult to prove in a court of law. There are hundreds or even thousands of students who come through a school every year. Schools can point to those students as examples of how they provide quality education equitably.

Education is Subjective

Unlike services provided by a doctor or contractor, educational services are subjective. It is impossible to offer a one-size-fits-all approach. When these lawsuits claim a lack of opportunity in the classroom, it is nearly impossible to prove because they cannot pinpoint what “should” happened. A surgeon “should” have removed the appendix but suffered an accident. There’s no comparable event in education. There are more variables in a classroom that don’t exist in other facets of society.

Education is one of the most critical institutions offered by modern society. Before turning to a lawsuit, consider what you can contribute to the education system to improve it for everyone.