Connecticut does not have a funded abandoned and derelict vessel program. It does have legislation that covers abandoned vessels, which is administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and includes provisions for dealing with ownership/party of standing, notification, liens, liability for costs, and removal. The state also has derelict vessel laws that address ownership determination, notification, liability for costs and the taking of the vessel, which is administered by the Department of Transportation and its harbor masters.
There is no dedicated funding source in Connecticut for the removal of abandoned or derelict vessels. Officers or individuals moving and storing ADVs are entitled to reimbursement of the costs incurred to them, which can be obtained from the owner through a maritime lien, performance bond or sale of the vessel at a public auction. Proceeds from the sale may be used to cover the costs of the vessel removal.
Connecticut passed a new “Act concerning Abandoned Vessels” in 2014, which took effect in January of 2015. This new statute, established under Public Act No. 14-57, repealed the older version of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 15-140c and replaced it with a more comprehensive set of laws to address the issue of vessel abandonment in Connecticut state waters and set up a comprehensive online state program for dealing with abandoned vessels. This new act did not modify the existing legislation for derelict vessels, which are addressed separately under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 15-11a. Under this legislation, it is dependent upon duly authorized harbor masters to determine if a vessel is derelict and requires removal.
Point of Contact
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is the lead agency with regards to abandoned vessels in the state. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is the lead administrator with regards to derelict vessels in the state.