• 1. Ballast Water

Ballast Water

Ballast water permit required as of February 2010

The following is a summary of some of the permit programme’s key components:


  • Vessels which have been issued the EPA’s VGP (vessel General Permit) that have a ballast tank capacity of at least 2114 gallons (8 cubic metres) and are at least 164 feet in length (50 metres), must receive coverage under this new permit in order to discharge ballast water in the waters of Wisconsin.  Such vessels must have a ballast water and sediment management plan in order to be compliant with US Coast Guard requirements and the EPA’s VGP.
  • Recordkeeping – Vessels must maintain an on-board log book to document activities associated with discharging ballast water, and make this book available to the Department upon request.  An annual discharge monitoring report will also be required in due time.
  • Vessels are prohibited from discharging certain types of substances (i.e. captured intake filtration solids, ballast tank sediment, and seawater), and from discharging seawater in other than residual amount unless the effluent complies with the chloride effluent limit.  Additional details can be found in section 3.3 of the permit.

Permit Application Form:


  • There is no separate application form for this permit. Instead, the Notice of Intent (NOI) that is required under the EPA’s Vessel General Permit must be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by 31 July 2010.  The DNR will then issue a Notice of Coverage allowing for discharges of ballast water in Wisconsin waters.  Please note that this permit does not replace the EPA permit.  Therefore, vessels planning to transit in Wisconsin waters will need to apply for both the EPA permit and the Wisconsin permit.

Implementation period:

• Vessels in operation on or before 1 February 2010 must submit an NOI requesting permit coverage no later than 6 months after the effective date of the Wisconsin Ballast Water Discharge General Permit (i.e. by 31 July 2010, as noted above).  New vessels must submit a NOI at least 30 days prior to discharging into Wisconsin waters.

Permit Term:


  • Effective date, 1 February 2010 to 31 January 2015.

Ballast Water Treatments Systems Requirements and Dates:


  • 31 December 2010: DNR, with advice from a stakeholder committee, will determine if commercial treatment technology is available to meet Wisconsin's standard, which is equivalent to 100 times the IMO standard. If the DNR determines the technology is not feasible, the Wisconsin standard will change to the IMO standard.
  • 1 January 2012: Any oceangoing vessel built on or after that date must treat its ballast water to the level agreed on during the 2010 review.
  • 1 January 2014: Existing oceangoing ships must meet the same standard.

Members may wish to consult the Permit and the Fact Sheet published by the DNR, which has answers to commonly-asked questions. Additional information and reference documents on the permit program can also be found on the DNR’s Ballast Water Discharge General Permit webpage via the links below:

Permit in PDF format

Fact Sheet in PDF format

Link to DNR’s Ballast Water Discharge General Permit webpage

Contact: marine@bimco.org

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