US Navy Abandons Plans to Sink Old Aircraft Carriers

The Basel Action Network, a global toxic trade watchdog organisation, has claimed victory as the US Navy confirms it has changed its decision to scuttle the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal, choosing instead to have the ship recycled in the US.

This change follows the December 2010 release of BAN’s report ’Jobs and Dollars Overboard: The Economic Case Against Dumping US Naval Vessels at Sea’. BAN estimates that the recycling of the Forrestal will save millions of taxpayer dollars, create approximately 500 green jobs in the domestic recycling industry, and create about 1,900 jobs in the overall economy for one year.

In addition to the Forrestal, the US Navy now says it will recycle three other retired carriers – the Saratoga, Independence and Constellation. In past years, these vessels would all have been dumped at sea as artificial reefs or as part of the Navy’s costly sinking exercise program (SINKEX). For example, the aircraft carriers America and Oriskany were both scuttled, costing taxpayers over $20 million each.

“The Obama Administration’s new plan to recycle these four aircraft carriers appears to be a signal that the Administration may be correcting long-standing misguided policies that not only squander resources, but American jobs as well,” says Colby Self, BAN’s green ship recycling campaign director.

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