Through the SINKEX program, the Navy uses decommissioned vessels for target practice and sends them — along with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs — to the bottom of the ocean. This element was banned in 1979, and its discharge pollutes the ocean floor and wildlife. PCBs also cause cancer in humans and even harm the developing brains of fetuses and infants in pregnant or breast-feeding women.
The EPA requires that the Navy disclose the level of PCBs left onboard. However, these reports have been found to be inconsistent and unreliable. The Navy also estimates the cost for removing toxins from the ships, pre-destruction, is between $500,000 and $600,000, which is a fraction of the total cost of sinking a ship — estimated at $22 million.
If the Navy recycled their ships instead, we could prevent ecosystem destruction and provide jobs and revenue to the ship recycling industry.
The EPA is the only group that can stop the Navy from wrecking havoc on our oceans and our own health.
Unite with the Center for Biological Diversity and tell the EPA to revoke the Navy’s exemption for the SINKEX program.
Photo Credit: Ho New/Reuters
To: Bob Perciasepe, Acting Administrator of the EPA
I strongly oppose the bombardment of toxic substances into our oceans.
For over 30 years, the U.S. Navy has used the SINKEX practice to dispose of old ships in our oceans under the basis of target practice. In the past decade alone, the Navy sent more than 100 vessels to the bottom of the ocean.
This has unleashed a multitude of harmful chemicals in this environment, including thousands of pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. This material is known to cause cancer, and its toxicity has spread to fish in oceanic areas. PCBs can then be passed onto humans that consume these fish, affecting public health.
The Navy has proven time and time again they disregard the safety involved in their SINKEX program and have stated numerous discrepancies in the amount of PCBs aboard each ship.
No one should be exempt from endangering our environment. It’s time to tell the U.S. Navy they’re accountable for toxic dumping. It's time to stop them from employing SINKEX practices.
I stand with the Center for Biological Diversity and urge you to strip the U.S. Navy of its exemption from leaving hazardous materials in our waters.
[Your name here]