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August 1, 2005

Press Contacts: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

Don’t Let Little Fuel Spills Foul Up Your Bottom Line
Top 5 Preventive Measures for Marinas to Help Keep Fuel out of the Water

Today’s savvy marina operators know what happens when a major fuel spill occurs. Expensive clean up services and potentially hefty fines are today’s realities. But lesser known is that little spills, added up over time, could also hurt a marina’s bottom line, cause embarrassment and harm the waterways.

Ironically, these errant fuel and oil spills are easily preventable. As part of its National Clean Fueling Campaign, “Help Stop the Drops,” the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water offers the following five tips to help marina operators, fuel dock staff and slip holders avoid small accidental petroleum spills.

1. When refueling, always make sure someone holds the pump nozzle – never rely on the automatic shut-off device or the hands-free clip. Periodically inspect to ensure that nozzles and hoses are in good working condition.

2. Post “Discharge of Oil Prohibited” signage at the head of each pier to inform customers that it is illegal to pump oily bilges overboard. Have a spill response plan and post emergency numbers like the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

3. Have a properly stocked “spill kit” readily available for clean up. This should include absorbent pads and spill booms – totaling three times the length of your largest boat.

4. Consider offering tools boaters can use, like bilge socks and absorbent pads, for sale at your fuel dock or ship’s store. Hand out or encourage the use of an absorbent pad around the deck fill to catch spills. Use a fuel collection device suction-cupped over the vessel’s fuel tank vent to catch seepage.

5. Never treat a fuel spill with dish soap or any other dispersant. This illegal practice “sinks” the fuel causing it to settle to the bottom and contaminate soil.

To learn more about how to “Stop the Drops” at your fuel dock, the BoatU.S. Foundation has compiled a free booklet entitled “Don’t Let Fuel Spills Foul Your Bottom Line.” Geared for marina operators, the booklet includes a directory of manufacturers and color pictures of fuel spill prevention products in use, explains basic laws governing fuel spills and is a great companion for state Clean Marina Initiatives or marina facilities that would like to incorporate best management practices. To request your free copy, contact Ted Sensenbrenner at (410) 897-0920 or email teds@boatus.com. This directory can also be downloaded in PDF format at http://www.BoatUS.com/foundation/brochure.

The BoatU.S Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization funded by the voluntary contributions of the 600,000 members of BoatU.S., the nations largest recreational boat owners association. The Foundation’s Help Stop the Drops program is working with boaters, marinas and manufacturers to prevent accidental fuel spills and to help change the way boats are fueled. The Foundation also operates the only NASBLA approved, free, online boating safety course and a low-cost EPIRB rental program, and awards grants to nonprofit groups for boating safety and environmental projects.

Promoting Safe, Smart and Clean Boating for Over 20 Years.

Visit us at www.boatus.com/foundation