Friday, May 30, 2008

More Derelict Disposal News

Just another little news article about abandoned vessels, and what might be done.

Queens Chronicle - ‘Operation Clean Bay’ Aims To End Vessel Abandonment

....a task force — comprised of the National Park Service and U.S. Coast Guard, the NYPD, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the city Department of Environmental Protection — to investigate the ownership of derelict boats.

Now, I'm guessing that none of those agencies are actually doing the disposal work. Getting these types of contracts is probably tough in NYC, but in more rural areas, there is potential for work, assuming you can reach the funding authorities. In some cases, they find the boat owner, and he has some time to solve the problem before the fines kick in. This is the best chance for you to get in the picture. Let all your local agencies know that you are equipped and able to handle derelict work, and they might even pass your phone number on to potential customers.

An interesting quirk of derelict disposal work is that the customer wants the boat destroyed, so you have no damage liability, and, the government wants the thing out of there, because they consider it pollution, so the USCG probably won't be breathing down your neck while you do the work.

If you are going to dispose of a boat, click here to see a copy of my old disposal contract. It might give you some ideas of how to write your own. The work isn't that hard; in general, just drain all the fluids, remove all the garbage, and have it trucked to the landfill. In some cases, you might have to remove the motors, but even those aren't too hard to get rid of.

There is a confluence of forces that I believe will result in a big increase in derelict disposals over the next decade. Whether you like it or not, the Democrats will control Congress for at least the next 5-6 years, and that means more dollars for environmental issues, like cleaning up the nations waterways. Meanwhile, as the economy softens, folks with older boats will find zero buyers for worn out boats, and may succumb to more sinister alternatives to get rid of the financial burden of owning a boat - especially if it is insured.

In the past year, I've seen signs that municipalities and state agencies are eager to step up enforcement of abandoned vessel laws, and are making real efforts to find the owners, who face hefty fines or even jail if they don't respond. Even the Block Island Harbor Master drafted up an abandoned vessel law over this past winter. People who can afford to own coastal property are demanding that local officials keep the rivers and beaches clean - they paid a lot of money for their view, and an old rusty boat wasn't part of the deal.

So, an increased willingness for enforcement, more federal dollars (used almost entirely for enforcment, or contracted clean-up), and an economic incentive for abandonment all spells more vessel disposal work. Someone is gonna do it, why not you?