Under federal law (the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Clean Water Act) it is illegal to discharge any petroleum
product into the water. By law, any oil or fuel spill that leaves a sheen on the water must be reported to the U.S.
Coast Guard at 1-800-424-8802.
You are responsible for any environmental damage caused by your fuel spill. So…preventing spills will be beneficial
for you and the boating environment!
It is also against the law to use detergent or other chemicals on a spill to disperse the oil or sheen. These products
can cause the petroleum to sink into the water, causing more harm to marine animals and bottom sediments.
If you have spilled a petroleum product, immediately stop the source of the leak, use oil absorbent pads or booms,
and notify your marina. Call the U.S. Coast Guard. Your marina may also know a state agency that needs to be contacted. If the spill is of any substantial size, we also recommend you call your insurance company.
Fines for discharging hazardous materials
Up to $25,000 per day, per violation. 33 U.S.C. 1319(d).
Injunctive relief. 33 U.S.C. 1319(b).
Negligent Violations: $2,500 to $25,000 fine or imprisonment for one year, or both.
33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1).
Knowing Violations: $5,000 to $50,000 fine or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both. 33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2).
Knowing Endangerment: Up to $250,000 fine or imprisonment for up to 15 years, or both.
33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(3).
Click below for more information about how you can prevent fuel spills.
When changing your boat’s oil, to reduce the chance of a spill, temporarily turn off your bilge pump, and put a
lid on the used oil container before transferring it to shore. Ask your marina for the closest oil recycling facility
or check on http://www.earth911.org to find it yourself.