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54

2011

DISHONORABLE DISPOSAL

offered to purchase the vessel for recycling at no cost to the Navy; however this request was all but ignored.

MARAD In 2007, Arc Ecology, San Francisco BayKeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Francisco Bay Region) filed suit against MARAD for the pollution created by the deteriorating Suisun Bay Ghost Fleet. MARAD estimated the aging fleet was a source of water pollution that deposited 21 tons of paint chips containing toxic material into the bay. In April 2010, MARAD agreed to settle with the environmental groups after MARAD realized they had little defense. MARAD agreed to remove and dispose of 28 ships in worst condition by September 30, 2012, and remove all remaining vessels by 2017.158

While the disposal timeline can be achieved through domestic recycling of all vessels, ocean disposal remains an option available to the

agency. In alternative

fact, MARAD continues

to pursue

disposal

methods,

including

artificial reefing initiatives.159

Further, MARAD

has the ability to transfer vessels to the Navy to dispose of vessels through SINKEX. One such vessel, the Ex-USS MONTICELLO, was unk during the Rim of the Pacific Exercises (RIMPAC) in the South Pacific in July 2010.

With a $15 million ship disposal budget for 2011 ($3 million of which is dedicated to managing the nuclear inactive ship SAVANNAH) and a ship disposal budget request for year 2012, amounting to $18.5 million ($3 million of which is dedicated to managing the SAVANNAH),160 Ocean disposal via SINKEX is a growing concern as MARAD continues to reduce the inactive fleet within their requested appropriations and in accordance with the April

158

http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/100405_Fact_Sheet.pdf

159http://www.marad.dot.gov/about_us_landing_page/budget_inf ormation/Budget_In_Brief.htm

160www.dot.gov/budget/2012/budgetestimates/marad.pdf

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

2010 settlement in California. Under the Obama Administration, new leadership at MARAD has the opportunity to Lead by Example and recycle all vessels domestically; we urge the agency to seize this opportunity.

i. Regulatory Agencies / Oversight Ship recycling is a labor-intensive industry with environmental and worker safety risks. These risks are mitigated with strong government oversight, including the permanent onsite placement of MARAD and Navy representatives who oversee and manage the dismantling of vessels. Environmental and worker safety regulations are enforced by the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Both the EPA and OSHA work together to enforce the following federal laws and regulations:

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!

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Clean Air Act (40 CFR 50-99) Clean Water Act (40 CFR 122) Safe Drinking Water Act (40 CFR 142, 144- 148) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (40 CFR 261-279) Toxic Substances Control Act (40 CFR 761) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (40 CFR 355 and 370) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability act (40 CFR 302) General Duty Clause (29 CFR 1910) Shipyard Industry Standard (29 CFR 1915)

ii. Capacity Today, MARAD works with six domestic scrapping facilities, while the Navy works with two. MARAD suggests the domestic ship recycling industry has demonstrated a potential

cost-effective

capability

to

dismantle

and

recycle 20-25 vessels per year.161

However

discussions with ship recyclers in the Brownsville, Texas ship recycling area indicate that the local government is favorable to almost

Report to Congress on the Progress of the Vessel Disposal Program, US Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 2007, Pg. 13. 161

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