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.
- Regulations prohibit the discharge of petroleum in any form that causes a sheen on the surface of the water. 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.
- Oil can be removed safely during maintenance with an oil extractor vacuum pump.
- Oil absorbent pads and pillows can be used to keep bilges clean and oil free.
- 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. Call toll-free 1-800-424-8802. Report the discharge’s location, color, source, substances, size, and time observed. You also must call the Maryland Department of the Environment at 1-866-633-4686 and report the discharge.
- The Federal Clean Water Act states that it is illegal to use liquid soap or other detergent to dissolve oil in the water.