We have been advised that the law, which requires a permit for the discharge of hold cleaning water in the Mississippi, will now be monitored more efficiently. The law, for wash water discharge, has been in force for over 20 years and now, if the violation is of a significant nature, the Coast Guard and the local state enforcement could investigate.
We understand that a permit must be issued for each vessel (cargo type) wanting to discharge wash water. This is obtained by testing samples of the water to be discharged. A sample is either tested onboard the ship with a certificate being issued immediately when found to be correct, or the samples are taken ashore for analysis. If the tests are analyzed ashore the cost is about $2000. The test can take from 1.5 to 5 hours depending on previous cargo discharge (oily type cargo, coal and petcoke etc will take the longest).
Please also be advised that vessels are not allowed to discharge wash water within 1 mile of fresh drinking water intakes. This will affect Grandview Anchorage (mile 146.5 to 147.3), General Anchorage (mile 89.2 to 90.9) and the lowest anchorage spot at Point Celeste Anchorage (mile 51.5). Due to this, ships may incur extra cost for towage, etc.
We have been advised that the local water department in the Gramercy area will be travelling the levees 24 hours a day looking for any ship discharging water into the river and will immediately report them to the Department of Environmental Quality.
We advise all ships discharging wash, waste or pumping bilges to be aware of the stepped up enforcement of this regulation, as fines can reach $27,500 per day.
Source of information: Loss Prevention Department