Coast Guard:

Abandoned Vessels Are Polluting the Waterways

T-RCED-92-54: Published: Jun 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 1992.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the problem of vessels abandoned in the nation's waterways, focusing on the: (1) number of vessels that have been abandoned nationwide; (2) extent of environmental problems caused by abandoned vessels and the associated costs; and (3) adequacy of federal laws and regulations on abandoned vessels. GAO noted that: (1) almost 1,300 vessels lie abandoned in the nation's waterways; (2) the actual number of abandoned vessels is probably greater because the Coast Guard has not searched all waterways for such vessels; (3) since 1988, abandoned vessels have caused 82 incidents of water pollution, threatening marine animal and plant life; (3) those incidents involved almost 2 million gallons of pollutants, including hazardous materials that were illegally dumped into abandoned vessels; (4) the federal government spent $4.4 million to clean up pollutants from abandoned vessels; and (5) federal laws do not prohibit owners from abandoning vessels and do not ensure that all vessel owners can be identified.

Oct 11, 2018

Sep 21, 2018

Sep 19, 2018

Sep 6, 2018

Sep 4, 2018

Aug 16, 2018

Aug 14, 2018

Aug 8, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here