Sacramento County wants the removal of an abandoned boat in California

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A fire on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 burned an abandoned former private military boat in the Sacramento River. Without proper California funding, the boat and more than 30 other derelict vessels will remain in Sacramento County waterways.

Sacramento County

A former privately owned and abandoned military boat recently burned in a fire will remain in one of Sacramento County’s waterways along with more than 30 other abandoned watercraft, creating health and safety risks.

It would cost the county between $6 million and $9 million to safely remove and dispose of these “derelict and derelict commercial vessels,” and there is currently no California program with the funding, authority, or expertise. to do the job. So the abandoned ships will continue to sit there in the water.

“We don’t know how long they’ll be there,” said Sacramento County government and legislative relations officer Natasha Drane.

A fire Tuesday night gutted the 85-foot former military boat moored on the Sacramento River. The Sacramento Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire that burned the ship, named All American, moored near Bryte Bend.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response contained the spilled oil off the boat and a hazardous materials removal was underway. County officials said authorities have not identified an owner for the boat.

Besides the fire hazard, Drane said these abandoned craft can release pollutants into the water. They encountered boats with barrels of oil, she said, and other harmful materials that can leach into the water, such as solvents, materials containing asbestos, paints and copper and lead-based batteries.

“It’s a potential health and environmental hazard,” Drane told The Sacramento Bee.

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There were, as of June 24, 2022, more than 30 abandoned boats, barges and other vessels in the waterways of Sacramento County, California, creating health and safety risks. Sacramento County

These abandoned vessels can also sink, creating navigational hazards for other craft.

“You can potentially hit one of these things if you can’t see them,” Drane said.

This is why the county sponsors Senate Bill 1065 introduced by Senator Susan Eggman, D-Stockton. The proposed legislation would create California’s Derelict and Derelict Commercial Vessel Program to keep waterways clean and safe.

With $25 million from the state’s general fund, this proposed state program would be responsible for inventory, removal and destruction of these abandoned vessels. The program would also coordinate federal, state and local agencies to provide oversight of suppression efforts in a “holistic” way, Drane said.

A 2018 aerial survey by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife found about 50 abandoned vessels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Drane said. Photos of abandoned watercraft found in the county’s jurisdiction include derelict cranes and barges.

SB 1065 was recently passed with a 9-0 vote by the Assembly’s Natural Resources and Water Committee. County officials said they won’t know until the state finalizes its budget through tow bills whether the $25 million request for the ship removal program will be approved.

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There were, as of June 24, 2022, more than 30 abandoned boats, barges and other vessels in the waterways of Sacramento County, California, creating health and safety risks. Sacramento County

Rosalio Ahumada writes breaking news stories related to crime and public safety for The Sacramento Bee. He is fluent in Spanish and has worked as a journalist in the Central Valley since 2004.

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