It is forbidden to discharge untreated waste, oil or trash in California within three miles of shore. The penalty for illegal discharge can result in a fine of up to $10, 000.

All oil and chemical spills must be reported to the National Response Center


State Line 800-645-7911

Pollution control act

Prevention and clean-up of oil spills

  • Check fuel lines on a regular basis and if deteriorated, replace them.
  • Use a closed system if you change your own oil.
  • Dispose of used oil and drained filters at a waste oil recycling center.
  • Keep oil absorbent pads on board. These pads are the least expensive method for boaters to control oily discharges. In California, absorbents saturated with oil are regulated as hazardous waste and should not be thrown in the garbage.  
  • If you see or cause a spill, do not apply soaps to disperse the sheen. California law forbids it.   Do not add detergents or bilge cleaning products to bilge water before pumping it out into the waters. As well, never use soaps or detergents to clean oil or fuel which is floating on the water! It is ILLEGAL and not environmentally friendly.  Absorbents that are exposed to soaps or detergents usually become ineffective.

How do I get rid of junk on my boat in California?

Surrender your unwanted vessel through the VTIP. Proper vessel disposal is a vital part of clean and responsible boating, and if it's your boat it's your responsibility. unwanted recreational boats to a local participating VTIP agency, free of charge.