About the Study Guide

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

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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 into or upon the navigable waters and contiguous zones of the U.S. Using soap as a dispersant on an oil spill is also illegal. Violators may be fined up to $10,000 per day by the state. Federal fines also may be given.
  • 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 and the Washington State Department of Emergency Management immediately if your vessel discharges oil or hazardous substances in the water (see section below for phone numbers). Report the discharge’s location, color, source, substances, size, and time observed.