Environmental groups sue for removal of ‘mothball fleet’
October 29, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ” Several environmental groups have announced they are suing the federal government over a fleet of mothballed warships floating east of San Francisco Bay.
The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups are demanding the U.S. Maritime Administration curb pollution they say the vessels are causing in regional waterways.
More than 70 ships comprise the Suisun (suh soon) Bay Reserve Fleet, some dating back to World War II.
The old ships were once kept afloat in case of war, but many have fallen into disrepair.
A congressional order set a 2006 deadline to scrap more than 50 ships, but a regulatory quagmire has kept the fleet anchored in place.
A study has suggested that paint flaking off the ships is shedding tons of toxic heavy metals into the estuary.