The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is asking for public comment on its Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the admittance, maintenance and disposal of vessels at the National Defense Reserve Fleet sites it operates. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment can be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov for the next 45 days.
The Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment includes options for cleaning and maintaining ships, and for setting standards for the condition of ships that enter the fleet in the future.
The Maritime Administration currently has 244 ships in the National Defense Reserve Fleet to support Armed Forces movements and to respond to national emergencies. Three fleet sites contain retention and non-retention vessels, and are located at the James River Reserve Fleet in , ; Beaumont Reserve Fleet in , ; and Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in . When the ships become obsolete, the Maritime Administration arranges for their disposition in an environmentally-sensitive manner.
Currently there are 123 non-retention vessels awaiting disposal. Twenty of these vessels are under contract for recycling, while 103 remain in the fleet awaiting disposal action.