Ocean Dumping Act Law and Legal Definition

The Ocean Dumping Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal law, enacted in 1972, that gives the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) the responsibility for regulating the dumping of all materials except dredged material. Pursuant to the Act, all sea disposals of wastes in the U.S. has been brought under full regulatory control by EPA. Many dumpers have been required to stop dumping immediately or to prepare for phasing out these activities. This Act is formally known as the ‘Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.’

The Act provides for control of both the transportation of material to be dumped and the dumping itself. Ocean disposal of radiological, chemical, and biological warfare agents, and high-level radioactive wastes are entirely banned.