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ALTERNATIVES TO OCEAN DUMPING

ALTERNATIVES TO OCEAN DUMPING

Ship Sales for Reuse

Friendly foreign governments can purchase decommissioned ships from the Navy to help satisfy their defense requirements, while also meeting U.S. foreign policy objectives to support allied countries by “fostering interoperability and strengthening mutual defense arrangements.” The ship transfer program must satisfy the Congressional authorization and notification requirements of Section 7307 of Title 10 of the United States Code.

MARAD is also authorized to sell ships to domestic buyers.

i. Capacity MARAD and the Navy both acknowledge that ship sales and ship transfers are low volume disposal options. MARAD has averaged 3-4 vessel sales per year since 2004.

ii. Environmental Considerations This disposal option is an extension of the vessels productive life and should be considered a reuse option rather than disposal. This reuse option is environmentally sound as toxic

chemicals in the construction of the vessel will not be extracted or exposed to the natural environment. However often sale for reuse is used as a pretext for the real intent which is to export them later to South Asian shipbreaking beaching operations at great profit. It is vital therefore that MARAD stay extremely vigilant to prevent sales of this type, by informing EPA of the export and the implications of violations of the TSCA PCB export ban.

iii. Best Value Considerations Ship transfer is at no cost to the government. This reuse option offers a best value solution to eliminating the obsolete fleets, though few vessels qualify for such reuse.

iv. Conclusion Most vessels being discharged have been determined to be of insufficient value for U.S. commercial or national defense purposes and therefore are likewise of little value to friendly foreign governments. This continues to be a low

volume

option,

but

one

of

primary

consideration should it be viable.

Ship Donation

The Navy’s ship donation program makes selected decommissioned Naval vessels available for donation for public display as ship museums or memorials (Section 7306 of Title 10 of the United States Code).

i. Capacity To date, 48 ships have been donated to serve as museums and memorials in the United States. The Navy currently has 11 vessels on hold for donation, but acknowledges that ship donation is a low volume disposal option and that only a small number of vessels available for donation will actually be donated.

This disposal option is an extension of a vessel’s productive life and should be considered a reuse option rather than disposal. This reuse option is environmentally sound as toxic chemicals in the construction of the vessel are not likely to be made biologically available through exposure to

humans or the environment.

However, when

the

donation

recipient

does

not

appropriately

maintain a threat.

vessels, pollution and Further, when the

exposure

poses

donated

vessel

reaches a point of deterioration in disposal is required, environmental

which final and human

health risks increase in previous sections.

dramatically,

as

discussed

ii. Environmental Considerations

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

45

2011

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