Coast Guard on Alert for Toxic Ship

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency are on alert for the possible arrival of the contaminated cruise liner, SS Independence, which is reportedly heading to Guam after being refused entry in Hawaii, The Variety reported.

SS Independence, which is believed to be loaded with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB and lung-damaging asbestos, is being pulled by the tug ship Pacific Hickory, on the way to India, where the 57-year-old cruises liner will be scrapped. With the disabled vessel in tow, Pacific Hickory reportedly attempted to stop in Hawaii to refuel but both ships were turned away by Hawaii EPA and the Coast Guard because of the health risk posed by PCB and asbestos contamination.

The international activist group called Save the Classic Liners has urged the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA to impound the SS Independence, warning that breaking it down in Asia would release toxic PCBs and asbestos. SS Independence was towed out of its berth on the San Francisco waterfront last week, after being mothballed for years. Source: Variety News

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