Navy to resume sinking old ships in US waters – San Jose Mercury News

Conservation groups argue that the ghost ships should instead be recycled at a ship-breaking facility. Concerns about the long-lasting effects of toxic pollutants onboard the ships spurred a lawsuit by those groups to force the Environmental Protection Agency to better catalog and regulate Sinkex. The case, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, is ongoing.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii—The U.S. Navy is resuming its practice of using old warships for target practice and sinking them in U.S. coastal waters after a nearly two-year moratorium spurred by environmental and cost concerns.

Later this month, three inactive vessels—Kilauea, Niagara Falls and Concord—will be sent to a watery grave off Hawaii by torpedoes, bombs and other ordnance during the Rim of the Pacific naval exercises, or RIMPAC.

The military quietly lifted the moratorium on Sinkex, short for sinking exercise, last year after a review of the requirements, costs, benefits and environmental impacts of the program, the Navy said in a statement to The Associated Press.

It will be the first time since 2010 the Navy has used target practice to dispose of an old ship. Previous targets have ranged from small vessels to aircraft carriers such as the USS America, which was more than three football fields long.

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