J. J. Keller® Compliance Network Logo
Start Customizing Your Profile for Free!
Update to Professional Trial!

Experience Everything Compliance Network Has to Offer

Already have an account?
Thank you for investing in EnvironmentalHazmat related content. Click 'UPGRADE' to continue.
Enjoy your limited-time access to the Compliance Network Professional Trial!
A confirmation welcome email has been sent to your email address from ComplianceNetwork@t.jjkellercompliancenetwork.com. Please check your spam/junk folder if you can't find it in your inbox.
Thank you for your interest in EnvironmentalHazmat related content.
You've reached your limit of free access, if you'd like more info, please contact us at 800-327-6868.

Abandoned boat removed from Sacramento River weeks after fire and oil spill


In June 2022, an abandoned boat named the “All American” caught fire in the Sacramento River in California. Oil and other hazardous material spilled from the 85-foot vessel. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response arrived to help tackle the spill in the waterway. After the flames were extinguished, they went in and around the boat with oil spill booms to contain and gather the released pollution. The Office’s spokeswoman says that of the roughly 1,000 notifications they receive of oil spills per year, a quarter of those come from abandoned and derelict vessels like the All American.

An abandoned vessel is defined by the U.S. Coast Guard as any craft meant for navigation that has been moored, stranded, wrecked, sunk, or left unattended for over 45 days. The All American was previously a military Air-Sea Rescue vessel that had been privately owned for many years.

Oil spill funding

Commonly, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is the funding mechanism for removal of an abandoned vessel. This happens in cases where the responsible party is unknown or refuses to pay. The Fund can supply up to $1 billion for any one oil pollution incident and is administered by the Coast Guard. Besides federal funding, many state programs also exist for recreational vessels.

In this case, Sacramento County put in an emergency request with the California State Lands Commission to fund the removal. On August 5, 2022, the All American was finally removed from the river. A barge dismantled it and transported remnants of the boat to a waste facility.

Senate Bill 1065

There are more than 30 abandoned vessels in Sacramento County alone. Around 50 to 60 are in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which extends over portions of six counties. Due to this ongoing issue, the County is sponsoring Senate Bill 1065. The bill will establish the California Abandoned and Derelict Commercial Vessel Program within the Natural Resources Agency. The bill would require the commission, on or before July 1, 2024, to create, and frequently update and maintain, an inventory of abandoned and derelict commercial vessels on or in the waters of the state. It would establish a Trust Fund to remove the abandoned vessels and debris. This would allow more comprehensive funding for the state instead of counties having to rely on emergency grants from the California State Lands Commission, like what happened with the All American.

Key to remember

Even though federal and state funding already exists, Sacramento County sponsored Senate Bill 1065 to help create a more comprehensive funding program for the removal of abandoned vessels in their area.