Washington Department of Ecology is developing a new water quality permit for anyone involved in vessel deconstruction. The agency says it will be able to respond more rapidly and cost effectively to environmental threats from the state’s growing number of abandoned and derelict vessels.

Currently, there is no water quality permit for dismantling vessels over water. This new permit would fill that void, but it would not replace permits for existing facilities. The proposed general permit would define appropriate requirements to prevent the discharge of pollutants resulting from the partial deconstruction of vessels over water.

Ecology would issue coverage under the proposed permit for individual vessels to allow a permittee to partially deconstruct the vessel while afloat. Deconstruction of the vessel hull and remaining superstructure would then need to be done at facilities permitted to perform this work.

Ecology is just starting to develop this new permit and plans to provide future opportunities for public involvement. Ecology expects to propose a draft permit in December 2013.

Find out more, provide comments and get on a mailing list for the Vessel Deconstruction Permit by contacting Vincent McGowan, Water Quality Program, Department of Ecology by email vincent.mcgowan@ecy.wa.gov