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EPA Launches Best Management Practices for Proposed Vessel-To-Reef Projects

Release Date: 08/04/2004
Contact Information:

Cathy Milbourn, 202-564-7824 /

(08/04/04) EPA and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have developed national guidance for the preparation of vessels that are destined to be sunk to create artificial reefs. The guidance was formulated over the past year-and-a-half in response to MARAD’s request for EPA’s assistance in identifying potential management options for their decommissioned vessel fleet. The first of its kind, EPA’s “Best Management Practices” will offer a consistent, national approach for planning and executing environmentally-sound vessel-to-reef projects. This document could be used by permitting authorities to determine if vessels have been sufficiently cleaned for placement as a reef that benefits the environment. This guidance identifies materials of concern that may be found onboard and provides a general cleanup performance goal for each. Achieving these clean-up performance goals, coupled with strategic siting, will help maximize the environmental benefits, including habitat enhancement, and recreational diving and fishing. This new guidance document does not substitute for any statute or regulation, nor is it a regulation itself. A notice of availability was published in the Federal Register on August 2, commencing a 60-day comment period for public participation in the continued development of this document. Comments should be submitted by October 1, 2004 via the EDOCKET 69 Fed. Reg. 46141 (August 2, 2004). The guidance document is posted on the web at: