What Does the Clean Vessel Act Do?

The primary goal of the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) is to reduce overboard sewage discharge from recreational boats. The CVA provides funds to states for the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumpout stations, floating restrooms, holding tanks, and dump stations.

Congress passed the CVA after finding an inadequate number of onshore sewage disposal facilities in waters frequented by recreational boats. They determined that these vessels may be a substantial contributor the local degradation of water quality.

Under the Clean Vessel Act, $47.6 million was distributed to the states over the six year period between 1993 and 1999, excluding 1998. These funds came from boaters and anglers, through taxes paid on fishing tackle and motorboat fuels under the Federal Aid in Sport Fishing Restoration Program.

As a result of the CVA, boaters can expect to see more convenient and reasonably priced pumpout and dump stations and cleaner waters, resulting in healthier fish and shellfish populations.