Plan to help clean up waterways by removing abandoned vessels reintroduced by Sen. Ted W. Lieu

January 18, 2013
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Program would renew successful environmental-protection law from 2009
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance today announced introduction of Senate Bill 122 renewing his successful 2009 law to remove pollution-spewing abandoned vessels from state waterways.
“Many coastal and river communities in California are trying to remove boats that have sunk and are clogging waterways because their owners can’t afford to keep them seaworthy during these difficult economic times,” Lieu said about a measure that extends Assembly Bill 166, signed into law when he was in the Assembly. “SB 122 represents an efficient way of using existing funds during tough economic times to address an important environmental problem.”
Records show California has the second largest boating population in the nation with nearly 1 million registered boats.  Since Lieu’s AB 166 became law, 144 boats have been turned into authorities and removed at a cost of $1,638 per boat.  “Without the program, it would have cost $3,892 per boat, more than twice the cost,” Lieu said. “So clearly the program has been effective.”

With such a large population of boating activity, there is an urgent need for local public agencies to remove abandoned vessels that are past their useful lives.  These abandoned boats not only create traffic hazards in the waterways, but also leak toxins such as fuel and oil into the water and harm wildlife.
Law enforcement officials praised the program, citing too many waterways have become ‘aquatic junkyards’, saying Lieu’s bill provides needed resources and authority to remove abandoned or otherwise unseaworthy watercraft. The pro-environment measure has helped the job of cleaning up after abandoned vessels and is expected to again be supported by state and local officials.

It’s too soon for groups to formally support this year’s version but AB 166 was supported by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Association of Harbor Masters & Port Captains, California Marine Parks & Harbors Association, California Yacht Brokers Association, Marina Recreation Association, Northern California Marine Association, San Francisco Baykeeper, and Western Boaters Safety Group. 

No hearing date has yet been set.

For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 122, please visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. With redistricting, Lieu will also be responsible for constituents in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes Peninsula, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, and portions of Hollywood. For more, visit