2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 5 Oct 2004 02:22:12 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] BAN denounces reefing guidance

Basel Action Network Press Release 

Seattle, WA. October 4, 2004 . The Basel Action Network (BAN), an
international environmental organization working to halt toxic trade,
and one of the key environmental groups that filed suit last year to
halt the Bush Administrations plan to export ex-naval vessels from the
Ghost Fleet, today submitted a stinging critique of the Draft National
Guidance: Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to
Create Artificial Reefs (Reefing Guidance), co-authored by the US
Environmental Protection Agency and US Maritime Administration. 
BAN considers the EPA/MARAD guidance document to be yet another attempt
by the Bush Administration to legitimize unsustainable environmental
practices for toxic end-of-life ships instead of promoting domestic ship
recycling programs. The Reefing Guidance will allow for ships to be
scuttled that still contain significant quantities of the globally
banned persistent organic pollutant known as PCBs (polychlorinated
"EPAs plan to allow the dumping of PCBs into the marine environment is a
shocking and singularly bad idea. PCBs are known to be toxic, they are
known to cause cancer, they are known to cause hormonal disruption, and
once in the marine environment they are known to accumulate in fish and
guess what, people are known to eat fish," said Jim Puckett, coordinator
of BAN.  
There is considerable pressure placed on EPA to allow the US Navy and
the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) to be able to get rid of about
225 obsolete naval vessels that contain asbestos, PCBs and other
hazardous substances. Congress has given MARAD a deadline of 2006 to get
rid of most of these vessels. Scrapping the vessels and recycling them
can be costly. A report by the RAND Corporation in 2001 estimated that
the total cost to the government for disposal of these vessels would be
1.87 billion dollars via domestic recycling, 170 million to export them
to Asia, and 500 million dollars to dump them as artificial reefs.  
BAN believes that regardless of the costs, the dumping of toxic wastes
on developing countries or in our oceans is contrary to international
law and fundamentally misguided and immoral. 
"The Bush Administration is proposing yet another dangerous dumping
scheme to save a buck. But what is a contaminated fishery worth?" said
Richard Gutierrez, of BAN. "This scheme is especially callous when one
realizes that we can utilize domestic ship recyclers to recover the
steel, while providing much needed jobs." 

for the original press release, go to


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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