State Senate gives nod to derelict vessel bill

PORT TOWNSEND — A legislative bill prompted by the 1999 saga of the derelict abandoned vessel Palisades cruised through the Washington state Senate on Tuesday.

The derelict vessel clean-up bill could land on Gov. Gary Locke’s desk as early as today. The measure allows local governments to seek state toxic waste clean-up funds to dispose of abandoned vessels.

The measure garnered a 47-0 vote in the Senate and 92-1 approval in the House on March 9.

The bill doesn’t specifically state that the funds can be used to dispose of abandoned vessels, though it states the money could be used for disposal of hazardous substances from derelict vessels.

The Port of Port Townsend commission and staff first shed light on the problem of abandoned vessels following the debacle of the Palisades fish processor in September 1999. No state agency was responsible for getting rid of the abandoned boat; even the U.S. Coast Guard was only required to deal with it if it posed a hazard to navigation or the environment.

For the complete story see Thursday’s Peninsula Daily News, on sale in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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