By Ronald W Hess
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Extra info for Disposal Options for Ships
The number of workers required to staff four notional ship recycling facilities is thus within the recent fluctuation of employment in the ship construction and repair industry, and the workers are likely to be available on the local labor market. Further, the skill level for recycling is low and can be drawn from local unskilled labor, as demonstrated recently by SDP contractor Metro Machine. Regarding facilities, many and perhaps all recycling yards will require a graving dock or floating dry dock to fully contain the debris and liquids generated during ship recycling, at least in the latter stages of a ship recycling job.
Many retired Navy vessels have been sampled for the presence of PCBs in hopes of finding some that do not have the problem and thus might be disposed of more easily. This effort has met with limited success. ) • The Navy has attempted to bundle ships for recycling as a way to offer potential recyclers economies of scale from larger amounts of tonnage. This effort has not met with success. The environmental and safety challenges have proven to be insurmountable under the old ship recycling paradigm, regardless of the size of the deal.
The dearth of available ships in the 1980s certainly strained the industry’s capacity to stay alive, at least to the extent government ships sustained it. 5 PCBs are subject to stringent EPA regulations found at 40CFR761, and having to control PCBs during ship recycling has certainly strained the recyclers’ profit opportunities. Also, the EPA rules forbid the export of PCBs, so their presence prohibits the export of ships for recycling. ) A further contributor is the impact of safety and health regulations.