A gallon of used oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water (a one-year supply for 50 people). Marine ecology could take up to 20 years to recuperate from an oil spill. In fact, the huge amount of additives used in the production of lubricating oil for high performance engines make this king of spill a greater environmental threat than a crude oil spill.
Given the recent event of unknown citizens spilling 25 gallons of used oil in Toa Alta, its worth revisiting the Law for the Appropriate Management of Used Oil in Puerto Rico. This law prohibits the disposition of used oil in the soil, sewage, septic tanks, mangrove, swamps, wetlands, drainage systems, among others. It also prohibits the usage of used oil to cover pavement, as a herbicide or insecticide.
From the oil’s purchase date, the consumer has up to 30 days to take the used oil to one of the Used Oil Recollection Centers created by this law and 90 days to recover the deposit paid at the establishment where the oil was purchased ($1 for every quarter of motor or transmission oil purchased).