The U.S. Navy has been using our oceans as a staging ground for target practice for more than 30 years -- leaching highly toxic and cancer-causing chemicals into the sea. This practice, known as SINKEX, is currently exempt from laws that protect marine life from dangerous substances.
But that could change this month because the Environmental Protection Agency is considering revoking this exemption.
Through SINKEX, the Navy uses old warships for torpedo and gunnery practice -- sinking the old vessels at sea. In the past decade alone, the Navy has disposed of more than 100 vessels through this program.
Old ships contain toxic materials, some of which are known to cause cancer. When the ships are sunk, these chemicals leak into the ocean and harm its ecosystem, including fish, whales and dolphins.
Send a message to the EPA today telling them our oceans are not a toxic waste dump and that the Navy should dispose of old war ships in a safe, responsible manner.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the sinking exercise program known as SINKEX.
In the past decade alone, the U.S. Navy has disposed of more than 100 vessels at sea by using them as targets in torpedo and gunnery practice. The SINKEX program releases highly toxic chemicals into the marine environment, including polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which are well-known cancer-causing chemicals whose manufacture, use and distribution have been banned in the United States since 1979.
PCBs and other hazardous substances have no place in the ocean. These substances put fish, whales, dolphins and other marine life at risk of absorbing cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, dumping vessels at sea squanders tons of critical metal resources that could be recycled.
[Your Comments Here]
The Navy should not be exempted from laws that protect marine life from toxic chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency must use its authority to require that the Navy follow the law and dispose of hazardous substances in a responsible manner. Our oceans are not a dumping ground for toxic waste.
I urge you to choose environmentally and economically sound alternatives for the disposal of inactive ships.
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