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unlimited expansion of the recycling slips along

the existing canal network in Brownsville.

In

other

words,

were

there

demand,

current

domestic recycling capacity and dramatically expanded to

could

be quickly

fit the

demand.

MARAD’s total annual disposal goal is 20-24 vessels. This suggests MARAD could rely solely on the domestic scrapping industry to meet their annual disposal goals currently.

The Navy has dismantled on average 6-7 ships per year since 1999.162

The domestic recycling industry relies greatly on MARAD and the Navy to provide a consistent supply of vessels to keep skilled labors in the workforce. The domestic industry has consistently worked below capacity and has urged the government agencies to increase

supply,

therefore

reducing

storage

and

maintenance costs, while also creating domestic recycling jobs.

iii. Environmental Considerations Strict regulations and strong oversight ensure hazardous materials are disposed of with respect for the environment and human health.

Recycling

International,

an

independent

worldwide publication, said in 2006, “Visits to shipbreaking yards around the world confirm that nobody upholds environmental and safety measures as stringently as the Americans.” The publication goes on to say, “…the USA has become the world’s leading ‘green’ recycler of marine ships…” BAN’s own site visits confirm that ship recycling in Brownsville under US laws is probably the best major ship recycling destination in the world currently. This is particularly the case because European yards

often fail remediation.

to

address

the

issue

of PCB

MARAD has expedited disposal of vessels that present the greatest environmental risk, stating “reutilization and disposal alternatives such as artificial reefing, donation, use in the Navy

162

Navy Ship Disposal Faq

ALTERNATIVES TO OCEAN DUMPING

Fleet training exercises (SINKEX), and sales are less effective at reducing environment risks because the best candidates for those disposal options are generally vessels that are cleaner and in better condition.”163 Vessels that pose environmental risks are best disposed of by domestic recyclers. This is the policy accepted

by MARAD.

Additionally,

the

domestic

recycling

of

government owned vessels valuable scrap metal into

helps the

circulate domestic

marketplace.

Scrap

metals

include

steel,

aluminum, copper, and copper nickel allow, amongst others. These metals are valuable commodities and help to lessen demand on virgin materials. When comparing lifecycle impacts of 100% steel recycling versus 100% new steel production from virgin materials, recycling operations reduce energy use by 33% and CO2 emissions by 32%. The primary energy required to produce one metric ton of steel from purely virgin materials is 79 gigajoules and produces 5.3 metric tons of C02, compared to 26 gigajoules and 1.6 metric tons of C02 for full

recycling.164 vessels It is lessens

clear the

that recycling

demand

on

obsolete natural

resources, minimizes energy

air pollution,

and is the

consumption and environmentally

preferred disposal method.

It is clear

that,

once all externalities

are

accounted

for,

domestic

recycling

is

iv. Best Value Considerations

overwhelmingly the environmentally and economically preferred method of vessel disposal and it should be the primary, if not the only disposal option available to the government.

Report to Congress on the Progress of the Vessel Disposal Program, US Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 2007, Pg. 9 163

Jeremiah Johnson, B.K. Reck, T. Wang and T.E. Graedel, The energy benefit of stainless steel recycling, Energy Policy. Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2008, Pages 181-192. 164

BASEL ACTION NETWORK

55

2011

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