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Us Warship Disposal

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of towing former US naval ships off the North East coast on their way to be broken up. [130727]

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are aware of proposals to bring ships from the US reserve fleet to the UK for dismantling at a facility in Teesside.Accessible pollutants will be removed from the ships before transit, as required by the Basel Convention on the control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes. The MCA monitors the standards of vessels entering UK waters and co-ordinates any response to pollution outside of harbour areas via the National Contingency Plan for Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations. It is empowered to take action should any pollution incident occur within the UK Pollution Control Zone.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether UK agreement to a passage plan for the proposed tow of former US naval ships to the UK is required in advance of the vessels leaving the US. [130728]

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is in close liaison with the US Government and the companies involved with these ships. A formal passage plan will be agreed prior to the ships leaving the US and will also be agreed with the French and Belgian Governments.