Water Pollution Liability

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Definition: Water Pollution Liability

Water pollution liability is the financial or legal accountability for causing pollution to oceans, rivers, streams or lakes. Entities that cause water pollution may be vessels, fishing boats, cargo or manufacturing plants near water bodies.

The obligations of shipping companies for water polluted by the spills from their ships. When a ship releases pollutants like oil or any other hazardous substances in oceans, they are accountable to remove it, pay for removing it or if it cannot be removed pay fine for the damage caused. A law ‘Water quality improvement act 1970’ is passed which imposes the ship owners to clean up or pay to clean up the pollutants released from their ships. If the ship owners cannot demonstrate the ability to pay for the cleanups, they may be rejected navigation privileges.

Ship owners can avail water pollution liability insurance to protect themselves from financially disastrous situations. The insurer then pays for the cleanups in case of contamination caused by the spills from the ships.


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