Drill barge abandoned in Louisiana (credit:Lee Richardson)


Louisiana currently does not have a formal and funded program addressing abandoned or derelict vessels. Louisiana’s Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) does have a formal Abandoned Barge Program that addresses oil-bearing abandoned barges and ADVs that are pollution threats.

Legislative Summary

Louisiana has statutes under their provisions for Navigation and Shipping (Title 34) that requires the owner of a vessel that is left unattended, junked or abandoned in state waters to present a plan to remove the vessel. If approved by the state, the owner must remove the vessel. The Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act requires the coordinator of the program to locate, identify, mark, and analyze the contents of abandoned or derelict vessels or structures found within the state. If the ADVs contain oil or oil based materials, the coordinator must establish a priority for their removal.

Funding Summary

In general, there is no funding source dedicated to removal and disposal of abandoned or derelict vessels. Louisiana statutes make the owner of an abandoned or derelict vessel responsible for paying all costs associated with its removal and disposal. Vessels designated as oil pollution hazards under the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act can be removed using monies from the Oil Spill Contingency Fund, providing that the owners of the vessels cannot be located.

POC Summary

The Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator, in the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, is the lead administrator of abandoned and derelict vessels that fall under the provisions of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act. The Department of Environmental Quality is the lead agency involved with ADVs.

Last updated Tue, 03/19/2024 - 05:44 pm EDT