New rules coming for sales of old vessels

first_imgState officials are finalizing rules that would put increased scrutiny on the sale of older, longer barges and ships in Washington.The Department of Natural Resources is preparing to roll out many of the new requirements later this year. Among the biggest changes: Anyone who owns a vessel that’s at least 40 years old and 65 feet long will have to provide documentation of a recent inspection before selling it or transferring ownership.The rules were created by a new law approved by the Washington Legislature in 2013. Many of them take effect July 1. And it was a costly mess on the Columbia River in 2011 that helped spur action, said Melissa Ferris, manager of DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program.The botched dismantling of the derelict barge Davy Crockett spilled oil into the Columbia near Camas and prompted a complex cleanup that ultimately cost $22 million. In 2012, the fishing vessel Deep Sea caught fire and sank at Whidbey Island, costing the state $3 million to raise, remove and dispose of the ship.“That kind of created the political impetus to do something,” Ferris said of the two incidents.The rules pertaining to vessel inspections, which would apply to hundreds of vessels across the state, take effect July 1. Part of the goal is to prevent vessels from becoming derelict or abandoned, according to DNR. The agency hosted a series of open house meetings last week, including one in Vancouver.Some details are still being worked out. The original legislation stated that vessel inspections must happen within six months of a sale or transfer, for example, but that window may be shortened based on recent comments, said Lisa Randlette, a DNR environmental resources planner.last_img

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