Certain commercial ocean-going vessels are required to treat and test ballast water for operational discharges at US ports. This is due to the increasing concern of chemical pollutants and introduction of aquatic invasive species into marine environments. Through efforts of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), a Vessel General Permit (VGP) has been adopted to protect the environment during vessel water discharge.
Hydrologic Monitoring, LLC (HMI) conducts VGP compliance monitoring on behalf of commercial ocean-going vessel owners and operators. Vessel media sampling consists of ballast water, bilge water, gray water, and potable water. HMI conducts select field testing on-site and then delivers samples for time-sensitive laboratory analysis, under chain-of-custody. Vessel access and water-sampling is scheduled at the convenience of the vessel in port (business hours or after-hours, weekdays or weekends).
HMI partners with industry leader, EnviroManagement, Inc. (Arroyo Grande, CA), for reporting, operational activities, and program oversight. HMI operates efficiently, along the US Gulf Coast (from Corpus Christi, TX to Mobile, AL), with operations based in Houston and New Orleans.
Commercial ships transport oil, iron ore, grain, and other cargo to ports worldwide. Most of these ships have large steel tanks, called ballast tanks, located along the sides and bottoms of their hulls. The ballast tanks contain seawater, or ballast water, which is pumped into or discharged from the ship during cargo transfer, usually in harbors and nearshore waters.