The Refuse Act of 1899 prohibits throwing, discharging or depositing any refuse matter of any kind (including trash, garbage, oil, and other liquid pollutants) into the waters of the United States.The Federal Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances which may be harmful into U.S. navigable waters. Vessels 26 feet in length and over must display a placard at least 5 by 8 inches, made of durable material, fixed in a conspicuous place in the machinery spaces, or at the bilge pump control station, stating the following:Discharge of Oil ProhibitedThe Federal Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of oil or oily waste upon or into any navigable waters of the U.S. The prohibition includes any discharge which causes a film or discoloration of the surface of the water or causes a sludge or emulsion beneath the surface of the water. Violators are subject to substantial civil and/or criminal sanctions including fines and imprisonment.Regulations issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act require all vessels with propulsion machinery to have a capacity to retain oil mixtures on board. A fixed or portable means to discharge oily waste to a reception facility is required. A bucket or bailer is suitable as a portable means of discharging oily waste on recreational vessels.No person may intentionally drain oil or oily waste from any source into the bilge of any vessel. You must immediately notify the U.S. Coast Guard if your vessel discharges oil or hazardous substances in the water. Call toll-free (voice) 800-424-8802 (In Washington, D.C. (voice) 202-267-3675).
The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (MARPOL ANNEX V) places limitations on the discharge of garbage from vessels. It is illegal to dump plastic trash anywhere in the ocean or navigable waters of the United States. It is also illegal to discharge garbage in the navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes. The discharge of other types of garbage is permitted outside of specific distances offshore as determined by the nature of that garbage.
Prohibited in all areas.
Prohibited less than 25 miles from nearest land.
Prohibited less than 12 miles from nearest land.
Prohibited less than 3 miles from nearest land.
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