STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Hurricane Sandy Pollution Response Unified Command is producing a plan, Saturday, to lift and transport the John B. Caddell from its current location on Front Street in Staten Island to a location where it can be safely assessed and the pollution threat can be safely mitigated.
The John B. Caddell is a 184-foot tanker ship that washed up on Staten Island as a result of high winds and floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy. The Caddell poses both an environmental and navigational threat to the New York waterways.
The Coast Guard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Sherriff’s Department, Joint Field Office Queens, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency and Oil Spill Response Organizations to remove the tanker and to develop a solution to eliminate the pollution threat.
“New York City is proud to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard on this mission, and with its other federal and state partners on the massive debris removal effort across the city,” said NYC Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno. “The Caddell washed up on shore and posed a clear environmental and navigation hazard. FEMA asked the U.S. Coast Guard to develop a feasible plan to mitigate this danger, and the Coast Guard has taken considerable steps to do so. NYC OEM is pleased to be part of this effort.”
The most challenging aspect that delayed planning is the lack of an owner coming forward. With no owner, multiple agencies had to work in concert to leverage varied authorities in order to develop a unified plan.
“Using our partnerships, we are collaborating together to come up with a safe and efficient solution to get the Caddell from its current location to a maritime facility where the disposition of the vessel can be reviewed,” said Cmdr. Eric Doucette, Incident Commander for the Hurricane Sandy Pollution Response Unified Command in Staten Island. “This is a perfect example of the federal, state and city agencies working together to resolve the public concerns of the citizens of New York.”
The proposed plan is to use one of the biggest commercially available barge cranes ever developed to lift and transport the Caddell, in a saddled position, to a location where the pollution threat can be safely mitigated.