Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1926

Prohibition on discharge of oil into navigable waters.

3.—(1) Subject to the exceptions mentioned in this section, it shall not be lawful for any person to discharge or allow to escape, whether directly or indirectly, any oil into any waters to which this Act applies—

(a) from any vessel, or

(b) from any premises or place on land, or

(c) from any apparatus used for the purpose of transferring oil from or to any vessel to or from any other vessel (whether a vessel to which this Act applies or not), or to or from any place.

(2) If and whenever any oil is discharged or allowed to escape into any waters to which this Act applies from any vessel, or any premises or place or any apparatus aforesaid in contravention of this section, the owner and also the master of such vessel, or the owner and also the occupier of such premises or place, or the owner and also the person having charge of such apparatus (as the case may be) shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(3) This section shall not apply—

(a) to the discharge of oil from a vessel in any case where, by reason of the vessel having been in collision or some damage or accident having happened to the vessel, the discharge of such oil has become necessary for the safety of the vessel, or

(b) to the escape of oil in any case where it is shown that all reasonable means were taken to prevent such escape, or

(c) to the discharge in any harbour of ballast water containing petroleum spirit from a vessel in which a cargo of petroleum spirit has been carried in any case where such discharge takes place at the place appointed and at the time and in accordance with the conditions specified under this Act by the harbour authority of that harbour for the discharge of the ballast water of that vessel, or

(d) to any discharge of oil which is made by direction of a harbour master or an officer in charge of a fire brigade in the course or for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the spreading of a fire.

(6) Where any person is convicted of an offence under this section the court by or before whom such person is convicted may on the application of the prosecutor order that the whole or any part of the fine imposed in respect of such offence shall be paid to such person as the court may direct and shall be applied by such person in or towards meeting any expenses incurred or to be incurred in the removal of oil in consequence of such offence.