derelict vessel removal program
Derelict Vessel Inventory & Reimbursement Priorities
The law that grants Authorized Public Entities the authority to obtain custody of and remove abandoned and derelict vessels also specifies the types of vessels that are a higher priority for funding. Based on that statute, the program has developed criteria to prioritize derelict vessels removal projects for funding.
The following inventory lists are arranged by priority level; within each priority level the list is arranged by Project ID number. The Project ID number consists of a two digit county code, the year the vessel was reported and the order in which the vessel was reported to DNR. For example PI06-008 would be the eighth vessel reported in Pierce County in 2006. Please note these lists do not necessarily correspond with the order of removal (or proposed removal).
The vessel lists change frequently but are updated on the website quarterly. If you need up-to-date information please contact the Derelict Vessel Removal Program.
Derelict Vessel Removal Project Funding Priority Criteria
The statutes granting authority for Authorized Public Entities to obtain custody of and remove abandoned and derelict vessels also directed that criteria be developed to determine a priority for funding removal projects. It is important to note that these criteria do not necessarily determine the order in which derelict or abandoned vessels are removed. If DNR is the Authorized Public Entity conducting the removal, we use the priorities to determine the removal order, but other Authorized Public Entities do not have to use them. When there is competition for funds the higher priority vessels are funded first.
These criteria were updated based on changes made during the 2007 legislative session.
Priority 1 — Vessel is in immediate danger of sinking, breaking up or blocking navigation channels or it poses a reasonably imminent threat to human health or safety, including a threat of environmental contamination. Priority 1 vessels are further prioritized as follows:
1A) Those vessels that, if allowed to sink, break up, or drift and beach will be responsible for significant impacts to human health or safety.
1B) Those vessels that, if allowed to sink, break up, or drift and beach, will be responsible for significant impacts to the environment, including natural resource damages.
1C) Those vessels that if allowed to drift, sink or break up, will be responsible for significant impacts to navigation.
1D) Those vessels that are in immediate/imminent danger of sinking or breaking up, or drifting and beaching, but if allowed to do so, will have little potential to significantly impact human health or safety, the environment, or navigation.
Priority 2 — Those vessels, floating or sunken, which pose an existing or probable, but not immediate, threat to human health, safety and the environment. Priority 2 vessels are further prioritized as follows:
2A) Any vessel, floating or sunken, which presents an existing threat to human safety. Severity of potential threats to human safety shall be evaluated based on:
a) Potential as an attractive nuisance.
b) Potential for harmful human interactions or encounters with the vessel.
2B) Any vessel, floating or sunken, which presents a probable future threat to human health, safety & the environment. These vessels are likely to become Priority 1 vessels after a minor change in circumstances. For example, vessel needs to be pumped continuously to stay afloat but someone is pumping it; vessel is tied abandoned & unattended in an area of high current or vessel traffic. Severity of potential threats to human health shall be evaluated based on:
a) Extent of population at risk;
b) The toxicity or hazard potential of the hazardous substance(s);
c) Threats to human food web;
d) Volume of hazardous substance(s) released;
e) Proximity of release to potential receptors; and
f) Potential for contamination of drinking water.
Priority 3 — Any vessel, floating or sunken, that doesn’t meet one of the categories above but still poses a direct threat to any of the elements of the natural environment as listed in WAC 197-11-444. Priority 3 vessels are further prioritized as follows:
3A) Those vessels impacting any plant or wildlife species listed on a state or federal endangered, threatened, proposed, sensitive, candidate, concern or monitor list. Impacts to habitats with which listed species have primary association are to be considered impacts to the species.
3B) Those vessels impacting any other plant or animal species afforded protection by any local, state, or federal agency.
3C) Those vessels impacting the culture and/or farming of food fish, shellfish, and other aquatic plants and animals in fresh water, brackish water or saltwater areas. Aquaculture practices may include but are not limited to hatching, seeding or planting, cultivating, feeding, raising, harvesting of planted crops or of natural crops so as to maintain an optimum yield, and processing of aquatic plants or animals. (WAC 332-30-106)
3D) Those vessels impacting a marine protected area, restoration area or aquatic reserve. A vessel may impact a marine protected area, restoration area, or aquatic reserve without being located within its boundaries.
3E) Those vessels impacting water or air quality that don’t meet one of the categories above.
Priority 4 — Those vessels, floating or sunken, that don’t meet one of the categories above but pose a direct threat to navigation. Priority 4 vessels are further prioritized as follows:
4A) Those vessels blocking entrance to an embayment or other important navigation route, which causes other vessels to find other, more lengthy routes around the hazard.
4B) Those vessels is in such a location that they could be a hazard to navigation but do not lie in any navigation channel, route, or area commonly used as a navigation route. Navigation hazards shall include those vessels that are partly or totally sunken and are inconspicuous to small boat operators. Such vessels, if of substantial mass and inconspicuous position, may also qualify as priority 2 if a small boat collision with such a vessel could result in injury.
4C) Those vessels in a location such that they prohibit other vessels from entering a marina or utilizing a marina slip.
Priority 5 — Those vessels that meet the definition of abandoned or derelict, but do not satisfy any of the criteria listed above.