2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 12 Sep 2003 16:05:30 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] 'Ghost fleet' ships not ready to leave
'Ghost fleet' ships not ready to leave
Coast Guard hasn't inspected vessels
By Kimball Payne
Published September 12, 2003

NEWPORT NEWS -- The company towing two James River "ghost fleet" ships
to a scrapyard in the United Kingdom canceled Coast Guard inspections
Thursday. The move means the former Navy vessels won't get the green
light to leave their moorings until next week at the earliest.

The Caloosahatchee and the Canisteo could have started their 4,500-mile
journey across the Atlantic as early as today if the Coast Guard had
completed its review of the ships' structural integrity.

Officials with the Maritime Administration, which oversees the
collection of nearly 100 vessels in the James River Reserve Fleet, said
the towing schedule was not affected by a threat environmental groups
raised this week to seek a federal court order blocking the transfer.

That's not the only legal complication involving the fleet that includes
ships in decrepit condition and some that are merely mothballed in
storage. A James City County lawyer notified federal officials this week
that he too plans to sue the Maritime Administration and the
Environmental Protection Agency over the ships. But his suit would seek
to have the most toxic vessels in the river removed faster.

Loaded with oil, gas, asbestos, PCBs and other toxins, many of the ghost
fleet ships anchored near Fort Eustis pose environmental hazards.

"We continue with our plans for the tow," said Robyn Boerst-ling, a
spokesperson with the Maritime Administration in Washington. "As long as
the safety and security requirements are in place."

This article can be viewed at:

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