Monday, April 28, 2014

Basel Action Network monitors toxic foreign shipbreaking

Another source of information related to toxic substances and foreign shipbreaking is the site for the Basel Action Network or BAN. That environmental nonprofit’s Web site is at BAN was on top of the situation with STORIS and tried to intervene with the export, even as we were also contacting legislators and officials in an attempt to block the export, knowing full well that there was a high likelihood that STORIS contained undocumented materials with PCBs higher than regulated levels.

In BAN’s online library, there are several links to various environmental issues related to shipbreaking.

Among them are
Dishonorable Disposal:

And Sink Stink:

While the U.S. is not a signatory to the Basel Convention, Mexico is. There are other regulations and agreements in place such as the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to which the U.S. is a member. The OECD is supposed to promote policies that improve the economic and social well-being of people around the globe. This would/should include preventing the export of U.S. military ships to lesser-developed countries for dismantling, essentially dumping industrial contamination created by the U.S. on these other countries, their infrastructures, environments and their citizens. While it was our intent to preserve STORIS for use as a museum ship to share her legacy with future generations, the U.S. Government crushed those hopes and allowed STORIS to be sent to Mexico for dismantling, likely violating the federal and international regulations that were in place to prevent such an occurrence from happening.

(Originally posted April 24, 2014)

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