Accession Number : ADA298909

Title :   Coast Guard: Abandoned Vessels Pollute Waterways and Cost Millions to Clean Up and Remove.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT DIV

PDF Url : ADA298909

Report Date : JUL 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 21

Abstract : Although the precise number of abandonments is uncertain because Corps and Coast Guard estimates differ, a large number of vessels are abandoned in the nation's waterways. Abandoned vessels have been and are likely to continue to be (1) sources of pollution and (2) illegal dump sites for hazardous materials and, as a result, costly to the federal government. Spills from abandoned vessels have damaged the environment, and additional releases of pollutants from these vessels pose a constant threat. Abandonments are likely to continue unless some legal or economic disincentives are created. Currently, however, no federal law makes abandonment of any vessel illegal or establishes penalties to deter it. in addition, no law requires barge owners to register their vessels with the Coast Guard. The proposed legislation (Abandoned Barge Act of 1992, H.R. 5397) to prohibit barge abandonment and require registration of all barges addresses virtually all of the illegal dumpings that have occurred to date. in addition, the proposed legislation addresses about one-third of pollution incidents caused by abandoned vessels. The remaining incidents are caused by vessels other than barges. Furthermore, although the proposed Abandoned Barge Act provides the means to identify barge owners through statw-administered vessel registration, we remain concerned about the temporary nature of the vessel marking now required under the state numbering system.

Descriptors :   *ESTIMATES, *POLLUTION, *WATERWAYS, *HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, SOURCES, NATIONS, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, THREATS, COSTS, PRECISION, RELEASE, POLLUTANTS, MARKERS, DISPOSAL, LEGISLATION, BARGES, FEDERAL LAW, COAST GUARD, ABANDONMENT, NUMBERING SYSTEMS.

Subject Categories : Solid Wastes Pollution and Control
      Water Pollution and Control
      Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE