RALEIGH - A bill aiming to remove abandoned vessels from waterways in North Carolina has recently passed the NC Senate unanimously.
Now, SB 465 is currently in the NC House, where it’s one step closer to becoming law.
Abandoned boats are not only an eyesore in local coastal communities. They can also cause several problems for the environment as well. After Hurricane Florence, over 400 derelict vessels were found along the North Carolina coast.
“The vessels contain lots of hazardous materials ranging from batteries to fuel to oil to hydraulic fluid, to you know, if they have a toilet onboard to human waste. It’s a really hazardous situation if they sink or are left out in the environment,” said the Marine Debris Program Coordinator for the NC Coastal Federation, Ted Wilgis.
Local cities like Jacksonville began working hard to get rid of them over the past several years. They’ve addressed 32 so far by finding the owners or clearing the vessels out themselves.
“We would hook up [the boats], tow [them] down to the boat ramp down here where our Streets Department would be waiting with heavy equipment, they would pull it up onto land where they would crush it, put it in dump trucks and take it to the landfill,” said Aaron Houran, a water quality tech for the City of Jacksonville.
So what does the city do to remove said hazardous materials before they crush them and send them to the landfill? Hopefully remove the hazardous material before destroying them. Is it safe to do that near the boat ramps? Does the city follow the strict EPA rules for such a task? That was failed to be included during the editorial that was posted.
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