Understanding the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) guidelines
In December 2013 the US Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit (VGP) comes into effect. The revised legislation introduces new environmental regulations for vessels operating in US coastal waters. The legislation states that environmentally acceptable lubricants* (EAL) must be used in all oil-to-sea interfaces on any vessel greater than 79 feet.
- Vessel operators are not required to switch to EAL oils in December 2013 if it is technically infeasible to do so.
- An oil change may not be feasible until the next scheduled dry dock which may be some time in the future.
- If vessel operators are unable to switch to EAL oils in December 2013, they must document that it is technically infeasible and that they have a plan to switchover in the future.
Key VGP facts
- The regulations come into effect on December 19th 2013.
- EAL oils must be used in all oil-to-sea interfaces on any vessel greater than 79 feet.
- The regulations cover the waters of the United States up to a range of 3 miles from the coast and Great Lakes.
- Seals and equipment need to be maintained to regulation standards, with fines for non-compliance.
- Affected marine applications include; stern tubes, controllable pitch propellers, stabilisers, rudders, thrusters, azipods, wire ropes and towing notch interfaces.
- It is recommended that deck equipment uses EAL oils if there is a risk of leakage running overboard.
Learn more about the EPA guidance on VGP requirements and recommended resource >>
VGP-compliant products from ExxonMobil
In response to the VGP legislation, ExxonMobil has developed Mobil SHC Aware™, a full range of synthetic marine lubricant products that are VGP-compliant. They offer the additional benefits of high performance lubricants such as outstanding equipment protection, helping ship owners reduce costs and increase productivity.
Learn more about Mobil SHC Aware products >>
Contact an ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants representative for more information >>
* Environmentally acceptable lubricants are defined in the VGP as lubricants that are biodegradable, minimally toxic and are not bioaccumulative.