Ecology developing new permit for vessel deconstruction

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Ecology developing new permit for vessel deconstruction

OLYMPIA – To respond more rapidly and cost effectively to environmental threats from the state’s growing number of abandoned and derelict vessels, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is developing a new water quality permit for vessel deconstruction.

Abandoned and derelict vessels pose significant risks to public health, safety, and the environment. Removal and disposal of these vessels is a priority for reducing environmental harm, but relatively few facilities are permitted to perform this work.

The proposed general permit would define appropriate requirements to prevent the discharge of pollutants resulting from the partial deconstruction of vessels over water.

Currently, there is no water quality permit for dismantling vessels over water. This new permit would fill that void, but it would not replace permits for existing facilities.

Ecology would issue coverage under the proposed permit for individual vessels to allow a permittee to partially deconstruct the vessel while afloat. Deconstruction of the vessel hull and remaining superstructure would then need to be done at facilities permitted to perform this work.

Ecology is just starting to develop this new permit and plans to provide future opportunities for public involvement. Ecology expects to propose a draft permit in December 2013.

Find out more, provide comments, and get on a mailing list for the Vessel Deconstruction Permit by contacting Vincent McGowan, Water Quality Program, Department of Ecology, P.O Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600. Or you may email vincent.mcgowan@ecy.wa.gov or call 360-407-6433.

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Media Contact: Sandy Howard, 360-407-6408; 360-791-3177 (cellular); sandy.howard@ecy.wa.gov

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For more information:

Vessel Deconstruction General Permit (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/vesseldeconstruction/index.html)

Ecology's social media (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)