The EPA may obtain authority to obtain an administrative warrant to carry out its
authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to inspect places containing
regulated chemical substances. This authority extends to vessels. A recent case
involved a U.S. Navy hospital ship, the Sanctuary, which was built in 1944. The ship
had been stricken from the Naval Vessel Reports in 1989 and the government had
sold the ship under the condition that it be used for humanitarian purposes. The
purchasers did not pay dockage and related charges, resulting in the port authority
suing the organization that purchased the ship. A warrant for the arrest of the ship
was issued and executed and a new owner bought the Sanctuary at a court-ordered
auction for $50,000. The ship had been scheduled to be towed to Greece for
refurbishment. To read more about what happened next and learn about EPA
authority to conduct an inspection of
PCBs suspected aboard the Sanctuary, click
United States v. Sanctuary, an August 2008 decision from the United States Court
of Appeals for the Fourt Circuit, on appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District
of Maryland.



























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