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BDIExpress Knowledge Base

Marine Vessels Require EAL (Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants)

The new VGP (Vessel General Permit) requirements defined by the U.S. EPA went into effect in December 2013.

The new VGP requirements will impact all commercial vessels longer than 79 feet and impose strict limits on incidental discharges (including lubricants) for vessels operating within three nautical miles of U.S. coastlines and in the Great Lakes.

The first VGP was issued in December 2008; however as of December 2013, a second more demanding version has come into effect. It is important that all vessel operators are familiar with this document as the consequences of failing to follow the regulations are fines and imprisonment. One of the most significant updates between the two versions of the VGP is the requirement of vessel operators to use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs)
in all oil-to-sea interfaces.

The intent of this new requirement is to reduce the environmental impact of lubricant discharges on the aquatic ecosystem by increasing the use of EAL (Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants) for vessels operating in waters of the United States. The potential impact of lubricant discharges – those not from accidental spills -- to the aquatic ecosystem is substantial. 

Use of environmentally acceptable lubricants results in discharges that biodegrade more quickly and are less toxic than their traditional mineral oil counterparts. For all applications where lubricants are likely to enter the sea, environmentally acceptable lubricant formulations including using vegetable oils, biodegradable synthetic esters or biodegradable polyalkylene glycols as oil bases instead of mineral oils can offer significantly reduced environmental impacts from those applications.

Check out the lubricants available VGP Compliant as EAL (Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants) from Lubriplate.


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