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In 1992, Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act to help reduce pollution from boat sewage discharges into U.S. waters. The grant program established by the act helps fund the construction, renovation, and maintenance of pumpout and dump stations to service pleasure boats.

Who is eligible?

Clean Vessel Act grant funds are available to both the public and private sector. This includes all local governmental entities and private businesses that own and operate boating facilities. To participate in this program, the pumpout stations must be open to the general boating public.

What does the grant cover?

The Grant will reimburse recipients for up to 75% of the installation cost of pumpout and dump stations. This includes the cost of new equipment, or the renovation or upgrading of existing equipment, as well as necessary pumps, piping, fitting, lift stations, on-site holding tanks, pier or dock modifications, signs, permits and other miscellaneous equipment needed for a complete and efficient station.

The grant will not pay for the construction or renovation of onshore restroom facilities, sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, drain fields or other special treatment devices.

What will it cost?

As a grant recipient, you are responsible for at least 25% of the installed costs of the pumpout and dump station facilities provided under the grant program. This 25% match can be cash, the fair market value of any labor or materials provided, or a combination thereof.

Your Responsibilities under the grant program

    1. All recreational boats must have access to the pumpout and dump stations funded under this grant program. The grant recipient must guarantee that the facilities will be operated, maintained and be accessible to all recreational boats for the full useful life of the station.
    2. A sign depicting the national pumpout symbol shall be installed to be clearly visible to boaters.
    3. An informational sign shall be installed at pumpout and dump stations. This sign shall specify fees, restrictions, hours of operation, operating instructions and a contact name and telephone number to call if the facility is inoperable.
    4. The signs must also acknowledge that the facility was constructed or improved with funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, through the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Can you charge for the use of a pumpout?

Yes. The Commission encourages the free use of facilities constructed under this program, a maximum of $5 can be charged.

Whom do I contact to participate?

If you are interested in applying for a Clean Vessel Act grant, please contact:

Pa Fish and Boat Commission
Clean Vessel Act Program
PO Box 67000
Harrisburg PA 17106-7000

You may also access the program manual and application guidelines on-line, Clean Vessel Act Guidebook. Complete your application and submit to the above address. More information is also available from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.


Phone numbers and addresses for above listed in the Clean Vessel Act Guidebook.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for consideration of an application for the following fiscal year is October 23. However, the Commission encourages prospective co-operators to submit applications anytime. Additional monies are sometimes available when contracted installations turn out to be not as expensive as planned and may be funded out of current year funding.

Application (MS Word - PDF)
Sample Application