Water Pollution Liability

DEFINITION of 'Water Pollution Liability'

Financial and legal responsibility for causing contamination to oceans, rivers, lakes or streams. Entities that cause water pollution can be held liable for cleanup, regulatory fines, damage to third-party property, third-party loss of revenue, loss of public services, damage to natural resources and more. Entities that might cause water pollution include barges, fishing boats, marine cargo, vessels, yachts, tugboats, ferries and others that operate on or adjacent to bodies of water.

BREAKING DOWN 'Water Pollution Liability'

The owners and operators of these boats and vessels, as well as cargo owners, shipyards, and marina owners and operators, can be held liable for causing pollution, which can be financially disastrous. To protect themselves, these entities can purchase some type of water pollution liability insurance. For example, a cargo operator might purchase marine cargo insurance to protect itself in the event that the ship's cargo spills into the water and causes contamination.