Disposal of Hazardous Wastes

Hazardous Waste

Most of us come in contact with hazardous substances daily, whether or not we are aware of them. Every boater is responsible for being mindful of the risks associated with such pollutants and adhering to all regulations regarding their prevention. The back label on product packaging is one of the easiest ways to identify products that require special handling, use, or disposal. 

When a product’s label contains strong warning statements regarding personal health, it may also mean that the product may have significant environmental implications if improperly disposed of.  

Several hazardous boat products may include solvents, varnishes, cleaners, bottom paints, gasoline, diesel, oil, and antifreeze.

The Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of oil and hazardous substances into navigable waters. The propulsion machinery on all watercraft (powerboats) should have a system for holding oily mixtures onboard and transporting them to an approved location.

The following are some suitable retaining options that meet the federal retention requirement:

  • Bailers
  • Buckets
  • Bags made of heavy-duty plastic
  • Portable Pumps
  • Oil absorbent pads under the retaining options

Boaters must immediately notify the US Coast Guard if their vessel discharges oil or hazardous materials into US waters by calling (800) 424-8802. We also recommend contacting your insurance company if the spill is of a substantial size.

How to Report Oil Spills and Discharge

The US Coast Guard must be notified immediately if a boater’s vessel discharges oil or hazardous materials into US waters by calling the Coast Guard National Response Center at (800) 424-8802.

Ensure that the following information is provided: location, estimated size and quantity of release, description, color, consistency, and odor of the substance, date and time of observation, the source and cause of the release, the substance, the weather, and any other information that may assist emergency personnel in responding to the incident.



Take My Boat exam on a tablet