Discharge of Oil and Other Hazardous Substances
Regulations issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act require all vessels with propulsion machinery to be able to retain oil mixtures on board.
- You are not allowed to discharge oil or hazardous substances. The penalty for illegal discharge may be a fine of up to $10,000.
- You are not allowed to dump oil into the bilge of the vessel without means for proper disposal. Fuel spills can be removed using absorbent bilge pads.
- You must dispose of oil waste at an approved reception facility. On recreational vessels, a bucket or bailer is adequate for temporary storage prior to disposing of the oil waste at an approved facility.
- You must notify the National Response Center immediately if your vessel discharges oil or hazardous substances in the water. In the District of Columbia metropolitan area, call 202-426-2675. Report the discharge’s location, color, source, substances, size, and time observed.