Disposal of Vessels at Sea | Region 10 | US EPA

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Disposal of Vessels at Sea

Contact Us

In Alaska: Chris Meade (meade.chris@epa.gov),
907-586-7622

In Washington: Jonathan Freedman (freedman.jonathan@epa.gov),
206-553-0266

In Oregon: Bridgette Lohrman (lohrman.bridgette@epa.gov),
503-326-4006

Federal Regulations for Disposal of Vessels at Sea

Code of Federal Regulations Title 40 Part 229.3

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EPA has granted a general permit that allows for disposal of vessels at sea (however, you must first consider alternatives such as salvage or use of the vessel as an artificial reef). Boat owners may not transport their vessel to the disposal site until EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard have been notified and agree the vessel has been properly cleaned of all materials which may degrade the marine environment.

Below are instructions for disposing of a vessel at sea in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Note that you must notify EPA at one month, 10 days, 48 hours and 12 hours before disposal of a vessel. In some cases, such as when vessels are transported through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we may request additional information such as tow plans for transport and sinking.

Guidance for Disposal of Vessels at Sea

One-month EPA notice
At least one month before disposal of the vessel, you must provide the following information to EPA in writing (copies should also be sent to the Captain of the Port of the local U.S. Coast Guard Sector and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Office).
  1. Need-for-disposal statement - Explain why ocean disposal of the vessel is needed.
  2. Vessel and cargo description - Provide the type and description of vessel (including vessel's name and registration number) and the type of cargo normally carried.
  3. Disposal plan - Provide a detailed description of proposed disposal procedures (including proposed location) and requested date of disposal.
  4. Environmental impact - Provide information on potential effects on the marine environment.
  5. Disposal alternatives - Document your evaluation of alternatives to ocean disposal. Alternative methods of disposal include scrap, salvage, reclamation and use as an artificial reef site.
For more information on procedures for sampling and cleaning a vessel of contaminants prior to transport, see the Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs (PDF) (77pp, 1.8MB). This guidance was developed for vessel disposal in shallow waters, but the information also applies to vessels being prepared for transport under the vessel disposal general permit.

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U.S. Coast Guard supervision
Transportation to the disposal site must be supervised by the District Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard or designee.

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Removing pollutants
Before disposal, qualified personnel must remove all materials, to the maximum extent practical, that may degrade the marine environment. These measures include, but are not limited to:

The requirements and additional information on cleanup, removal and disposal of PCBs can be found at:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_08/40cfr761_08.html
The following Region 10 staff can be contacted for more information regarding PCB removal requirements:
Daniel Duncan at (206) 553-6693 (Duncan.Daniel@epa.gov)
Dave Bartus at (206) 553-2804 (Bartus.Dave@epa.gov
More information about PCBs

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4. Ten-day notice to EPA and USCG
At least 10 days before disposal, notify the EPA and the District Commander of the USCG that the vessel has been cleaned and is available for inspection. The vessel may be transported for dumping only after EPA and the USCG agree that the requirements of paragraph 3 have been met.

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5. Disposal site location
Disposal of the vessel shall take place: (a) in a site designated on current National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) charts for the disposal of wrecks or (b) at least 12 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at least 300 feet deep. Disposal shall not take place in established shipping lanes unless at a designated wreck site, nor in a marine sanctuary, nor in a location where the hulk may present a hazard to commercial trawling or national defense.

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6. Vessel preparation
All necessary measures must be taken to ensure that marine navigation is not otherwise impaired and that the vessel sink to the bottom rapidly. The towing vessel shall remain at the disposal site for at least two hours to confirm that no large portions of the disposed vessel rise to the surface or to recover any floating scrap material.

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7. Disposal times
Disposal shall be performed during daylight hours only.

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8. 48- and 12-hour notice to Captain-of-the Port (COTP), USCG, and EPA
The COTP, USCG, and the EPA shall be notified 48 hours in advance of disposal. In addition, the COTP and EPA shall be notified by telephone at least 12 hours before the vessel's departure from port with such details as the proposed departure time and place, disposal site location, estimated time of arrival on site, and name and communication capability of the towing vessel. Schedule changes are to be reported to the COTP as rapidly as possible.

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9. NOS notification of disposal site coordinates
EPA and the National Ocean Service (NOS) office of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shall be notified in writing within one week of the exact coordinates of the disposal site so that it may be marked on appropriate charts.
Nautical Data Branch, N/CS26, Room 7350, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3282, ATTN: Steve Soherr U.S. EPA Region 10, Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs; 1200 6th Ave. Suite 900, ETPA-083, Seattle WA, 98101
Attn: Ocean Dumping Program

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10. Emergencies
Only in emergency situations, as determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or the U.S. Coast Guard, shall exceptions be made for the conditions of disposal outlined in paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8.


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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/ECOCOMM.NSF/Oceans/vessel-disposal

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