associate editor Chris Dupin recently reported that the U.S. Transportation Department is scrapping obsolete ships in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in California at a faster than anticipated pace.
In 2010, the Maritime Administration said it would remove 28 ships from the fleet by Sept. 30, 2012. To date, 36 ships have been removed, and three more vessels are scheduled for removal by the end of the year.
In October 2009, MarAd developed a plan that allowed it to begin awarding contracts to prioritize removing the most hazardous ships from the bay and improve cleaning methods for the rest. Out of an original fleet of 57 ships, 21 now remain, and MarAd said all will be removed by Sept. 30, 2017.
The Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet is one of three “ghost fleets” in the nation. The others are located in Virginia’s James River and Beaumont, Texas. Eleven ships have been taken out of the Beaumont and James River fleets since October 2009. - Chris Gillis