Derelict Vessel Removal Program
Notices of Intent to Obtain Custody
The following vessels have custody actions pending under the derelict vessel act (RCW 70.10.040). If the owner takes no action, the vessel will be seized by the authorized public entity listed in the notice. Once custody is obtained, the agency may use or dispose of the vessel in any appropriate and environmentally sound manner without further notice to any owners.
The owner of any vessel listed below may prevent the custody action by following the directions outlined in the notice.
Owner liability. If the owner does not take action to remove a vessel declared derelict or abandoned, he or she may be liable for costs such as:
- Administrative costs incurred in the custody action.
- Removal and disposal costs.
- Costs associated with environmental damages directly or indirectly caused by the vessel.
The owner may also be subject to a criminal misdemeanor charge for causing a vessel to become abandoned or derelict.
Appeals. A vessel owner may contest an agency’s decision to take temporary possession or custody of a vessel, or to contest the amount of reimbursement owed to an agency through an appeals process, which is spelled out in the notice of intent to obtain custody. The type of appeal and the appeal period depends on which authorized public entity takes the action.
In general, if the contested decision or action was undertaken by a state agency or a local agency that does not have an internal appeals process, a written appeal must be filed with the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB). The appeal must be received no later than 30 days after the custody date. See the vessel’s custody notice for details.
> PCHB frequently asked questions
Owners may file appeals directly to entities that have their own internal rules or procedures for contesting decisions or actions pertaining to derelict or abandoned vessels. Examples of these entities may include metropolitan park districts, port districts, cities, towns, or counties.