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26

2011

DISHONORABLE DISPOSAL

encouragement.

The sinking of the Ex-ORISKANY, a former aircraft carrier sunk off the coast of Florida in 2006, is a case worth exploring: the total cost of environmental remediation for the sinking of the Ex-ORISKANY was $11.89 million. Add to that $3.07 million for towing and berthing; $4.9 million for scuttling preparation and execution; and $3.74 million to develop the Prospective Risk Assessment Model (PRAM), all adding up

to a total cost of $23.6 vessel been dismantled recyclable scrap materials

million.60

Had the

in the

U.S., the

would

have

brought

an estimated $18 million enough to compensate for

return, more than the environmental

remediation

costs,

while

avoiding

the

costs

of

scuttling preparation, modeling.

execution

and

the

PRAM

In the last several years the Navy has been preparing another massive aircraft carrier, the

Ex-FORRESTAL,

for

ocean

dumping

via

artificial reefing. The Navy spent a reported

$6.4 million61 for dumping

preparing the Ex-FORRESTAL at sea. But recently the Navy

changed their scuttling plans and announced that the Ex-FORRESTAL would now be recycled in the U.S., along with three other aircraft carriers, Ex-SARATOGA, Ex- INDEPENDENCE and Ex-CONSTELLATION. The economic benefits associated with recycling far outweighed the costs of reefing these vessels.

While the Navy and MARAD share artificial reefing costs with recipient states, it is important to note that many of the state artificial reefing programs are largely funded by Federal tax dollars. Up to 75% of the funding can come from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. The program provides Federal aid to the State for management and restoration of fish having "material value in

60

http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/oceans/habitat/artificialreefs/docum ents/introduction.html

Roberts, Kathleen. Public Affairs Specialist, Naval Sea Systems Command 61

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

connection with sport or recreation in the marine and/or fresh waters of the United States."62 These funds are derived from a 10- percent excise tax on certain items of sport fishing tackle (Internal Revenue Code of 1954, sec. 4161), a 3-percent excise tax on fish finders and electric trolling motors, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, and motorboat fuel taxes authorized under the Internal Revenue Code (Sec. 9503).63 This is a use tax, where users (i.e. fishermen) are paying for the service (i.e. fish aggregation around designated artificial reef site). However, this use tax funds programs that have not been proven to restore fish populations, as was the intent of the Federal aid program, but rather has proven to concentrate fish for harvest and population depletion (see Fishery Resource Costs section below).

Senator McCain’s old aircraft carrier, the Ex- FORRESTAL, will now be recycled in the U.S. rather than being sunk as an artificial reef. The Navy reportedly spent $6.4 million preparing the vessel for artificial reefing prior to changing disposal plans. Recycling the FORRESTAL will recirculate an estimated $30-$33 million worth of recyclable materials in the domestic marketplace and create and estimated 1,927 jobs in the economy at large. Image Source: Navy Photo ID 021127-N-3653A-004.jpg

62

http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/FASPORT.HTML

63

IBID.

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