EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response launched the "You Dump It, You Drink It" campaign to promote the proper management of used motor oil by "do-it-yourself' consumers who change their own oil. According to the EPA, Americans who change their own oil throw away 120 million gallons of recoverable motor oil by dumping it on the ground, pouring it down storm drains, or putting it in trash cans. The penalty for anyone caught dumping used oil in Kentucky for example, may be fined up to $1,000.
The following is the text of these EPA posters aimed at service stations. Those suggestions in bold should be faxed to BP headquarters stat...especially number three.
"You dump it, you drink it."
1) Take steps to prevent spills. Keep machinery, equipment, containers and tanks in good working condition and be careful when transferring used motor oil.
3) Stop the oil from flowing at the source. If a leak from a container or tank cannot be stopped, put the oil in another holding container.
4) Contain spilled oil. Spread sand or other clean-up materials over the oil and surrounding area.
5) Clean up and recycle used motor oil. Remove the used oil from any clean-up materials, don't mix it with anything and send it to a re-refiner when possible.
6) Remove, repair or replace the defective tank or container immediately.
According to the EPA, "used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water - a year's supply for 50 people." So, if someone dumped the oil from a single oil change (which is an average of one gallon of oil), he could ruin the fresh water supply of 50 people and could face a $1000 fine--for a gallon.
Estimates for the current flow of oil per day at BP's Gulf disaster are anywhere between 200,000-2,900,000 of gallons per day. Let's say the Gulf oil spill has spewed only 400,000 gallons each of the past 25 days. That's a total of 10,000,000 gallons of oil.
According to the EPA's statistics, 10 trillion gallons of water have already been ruined, which is the annual water supply needed for five hundred million people...the population of the United States, Russia and France.