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Ship Recycling

Ship at scrapyardThere are essentially 3 options when a ship is no longer seaworthy: refit & refurbish it, scrap it, or sink it as an artificial reef.

Most ships that have outlived their useful lives are scrapped, allowing steel, copper and other materials to be recovered for reselling or recycling. The process generates regulated wastes that need to be managed, properly recovered, and disposed of. Since many countries govern ship scrapping with minimal or no environmental or health & safety regulations, much of this work is done with little regard for extremely sensitive coastal environments or the health & safety of workers.

In contrast, U.S. and local governments oversee ship recycling through extensive and complex environmental impact regulations designed to protect shorelines and the world's oceans. Compliance with U.S. and local regulations presents unique environmental problems, problems that Environmental Profiles' professionals are well acquainted with, thanks to our extensive ship recycling experience.

Ship recycling can be done in shipyards, though it is frequently done at less developed facilities. Many of these sites are relatively small and located in urban industrial areas, compounding exposure problems. Stringent U.S. environmental regulations cover the recovery and safe disposal of many materials routinely found aboard decaying ships, including:

The ship recycler must also comply with Clean Water regulations, Coast Guard regulations, water safety issues, and containment of pollutants in a water environment. Explosions are another hazard, as torch work is often carried out in poorly ventilated confined spaces near fuel tanks.

Safely disposing of these potentially harmful substances and safeguarding the workers who carry it out takes skill, expertise and oversight. If not handled with utmost sensitivity to the environment, ship recycling can be detrimental to the environment and threaten human health. And because the effect of non-compliance can be costly, it is even more important that the environmental oversight be performed by professionals with experience in this highly specialized field.

Environmental Profiles is an experienced partner in this environmentally critical area. For more information about the environmental component to ship recycling, contact at (410) 740-9600.

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Environmental Profiles, Inc.

8805 Columbia 100 Parkway
Suite 100
Columbia, MD 21045

(410) 740-9600
(410) 740-9606 FAX

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