National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)


The California Clean Coast Act of 2005, which became effective on January 1, 2006, regulates oceangoing ships and large passenger vessels (cruise ships) when operating in California waters. The law affects or has affected vessel operations in three areas:

  1. Discharge Prohibitions;
  2. Requirements for Reporting Discharge of Prohibited Waste Streams; and
  3. Submittal of a One-Time Survey Form to the California State Lands Commission

Furthermore, the law directed the State Water Board to obtain permission from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to impose sewage discharge prohibitions on ocean-going ships (300 gross tons or more with sufficient holding tank capacity) and large passenger vessels in California waters. The State Water Board submitted an application for a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) under CWA 312 (f) (4)(A) to U.S. EPA on 5 April 2006. U.S. EPA signed the final rule establishing California's NDZ on February 9, 2012, which became effective on March 28, 2012.

For more information, please refer to the California Clean Coast Act (PRC Section 72400-72442) and accompanying FAQ.

How to Report Waste Discharges from Ocean-Going Ships and Large Passenger Vessels

Please submit these reports to:

Renan Jauregui / Division of Water Quality
(916) 341-5505
Suggested Discharge Report Form
Please note: The use of this form is not required, it is provided as a convenience. The required components of a vessel release report can be found in PRC Section 72421.

For more information on Vessel Discharges, including U.S. EPA's Vessel General Permit, please go to Vessel General Permit/Small Vessel General Permit page.