About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Virginia Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Virginia Boater Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

Regulations issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act require all vessels with propulsion machinery to be able to retain oil mixtures on board.

  • It is illegal to discharge oil or hazardous substances into any U.S. waters. The penalty for illegal discharge may be a fine of up to $10,000.
  • It is illegal to dump oil into the bilge of the vessel without means for proper disposal. Fuel spills can be removed using absorbent bilge pads.
  • Vessel operators 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 Virginia Department of Health—804-864-7468— and report the discharge.