A Bit Of Justice For An Irresponsible Scrapper

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Milehog, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Milehog
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    Milehog Clever Quip

  2. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    living in washington state this is a common problem. It seems to me if there was fuel oil in it he should have sold that first. I can not imagine what people are thinking when by buy a junk hulk thinking there is money in the scrap when they have no where to park it.

    there are hundreds of large abandon vessels in Washington waters. The taxpayers end up footing the bill to haul them off. Seems if there was a better way to deal with it all this would not happen.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    . . . Have plasma cutter - will travel . . . how hard could it be . . .
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The EPA requires junkyards and demolition companies to control run-off, dust, etc. This guy ignored the regulations. Maybe the sales contract should include a containment plan. Also, was this Victory ship owned privately or by the government?
     
  6. Milehog
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    It was privately owned and had been through several shady deals as the buyers realized it was more of a liability than an asset.
     
  7. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    what makes them shady deals?

    taken from the article above, Seattle Times-

    This ain't gonna happen. You can't encumber the right of someone to sell something that is legal to own. It is buyer beware, like it has been for the past 1000 or so years. What you can do is require current owners to maintain the stuff and thereby reduce the chances that it becomes a hazard (ie. regulations). We do this with basic vehicle inspections in most places in the US. Owners who did not wish to inspect might have the option of presenting insurance policy in lieu inspection. Or insurance could be mandated for problem areas. I doubt anybody really wants these things to happen either. So throw the odd, randomly chosen example of bad judgement in jail and make a big hullabaloo every once in a while. That constitutes prevention to a bureaucracy. (Bureaucracies don't do prevention very well. Prevention is what culture is supposed to do. Bureaucracies do regulation, after prevention has failed. If prevention succeeds, bureaucrats are out of a job- and they know this).
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    "Buyer beware" has not held in courts for transactions where there are hidden defects and the seller knows about it. For example, a buyer finds that the seller dumped poisonous chemicals in the fuel tanks. The buyer has a grievance against the seller. This case is different though. The last buyer started cutting without a containment plan.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    This sounds like Libertarian mumbo jumbo.

    If you put a legitimate mechanics lien on something a person has, even if it is legal to own, that certainly is an encumbrance on their right to sell it. It is easy to encumber the sale of anything.

    On the one hand you say it is (or should be) an unrestricted right to sell anything you own, and that culture should be relied on to prevent abuses.
    Bureaucracies step in only when culture fails to prevent abuses.

    So apparently culture has failed and allowed unfettered capitalism to pollute common property, the river.

    Bureaucracies are apparently good at regulation, and culture is apparently bad at prevention. Now what? The unfettered culture (greed) has failed, do you want bureaucrats to step in and regulate culture too?
     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I didnt research the indecent but it sounds like the local authorities are responsible for allowing this ship breaker to work unsupervised.

    Here in the shipyard environmental officers are always enforcing regulations. Before a boat is broken up a " plan " must be submitted and approved.

    No need for new laws...I sure their are already hundreds of laws on the books that could have been used to avoid this problem.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The problem is that many of these projects start without warning. By the time the EPA or whoever is suppose to approve the demolition finds out, the disaster already happened.
     
  12. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Exactly. Except if there was a meeting on the subject by local govt. agents, the only reason anyone would show up would be to make sure it wasn't them that got held responsible. Of course it is easy to solve. It just isn't easy for a bureaucracy to solve.

    Go find a retired DA. Set them up with a corporation. Give that corp possession of any vessel siezed or otherwise acquired by any of several cooperating govt. agencies. Protect this corp from liability. Job of corp. is to contract the removal, salvage, sale, or otherwise get rid of said vessels. Corp requires bonds of all contractors, coordinates with govt. agencies such as EPA and OSHA, and reports on operations to the govt. Its called a Joint Public Private Venture and it can solve these sorts of preexisting troubles better than either side alone can. But you need a local, respectable person with first rate connections to head the corp in order to make it work. Govt. agencies tend to be really bad at selling stuff. They know how to purchase, but they are pretty much clueless when it comes to sales and marketing. And this is mostly about selling stuff.

    Now if you hold a meeting of local govt agents, there is the smell of revenue in the air, and you could probably sell tickets.
     
  13. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    the regulatory system failed.

    The EPA, The Department of Natural resources, The Coast Guard.... should all have their noses rubbed into the mess.



    Conditions must be set for the buyer, the ship breaker or ship refitter...these conditions dictate the selling price of the shipwreck.

    A bond to cover any public cleanup expenses is logical.

    There must presently be whole books of laws that cover the decommissioning of ships.

    What I find disturbing is that the ship breaker used public property..the water.. without authorization or oversight.
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    This is not Spain. What makes the USA successful is the dynamism of commerce and information.
     

  15. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    not quite accurate as I understand the libertarian position. Even libertarians that I know acknowledge that the government has a legitimate roll to play in pollution prevention and regulation. There is NO free market incentive to prevent pollution, so it will only be prevented if large fines are imposed when it occurs.

    The problem is that making the current owner, or even previous owners, liable, for accidents or misjudgements is you could make owning such ships large liabilities and you end up with them being abandon. This currently happens with properties that have potential chemical spills, even very old ones where there was no such laws in place. Making the current owner liable for such cleanups often makes real estate worst than valueless. Current owner allows it to be foreclosed to failure to pay property taxes and guess what? Taxpayers again end up paying for the clean up.

    They have to create an incentive or some other means to inexpensively dry dock and dismantle such ships, or you will see intentional fraud or similar "mistakes". Even if they put the salvage guy in jail, bankrupting him, it still does not clean up the water way.
     
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