What is SINKEX?
The Navy’s sinking exercise (SINKEX) program allows the Navy to fire on inactive naval warships to practice gunnery and torpedo accuracy, while also disposing of unwanted ships at sea. From 1970-1999 SINKEX accounted for 8% of all Navy vessel disposals; but from 2000-2008, SINKEX accounted for an alarming 70% of all disposals.
SINKEX is permitted by the U.S. EPA under a general ocean dumping permit.
This general permit allows naval vessels to be sunk with toxic materials left onboard, materials that are known to create hazards to human health and marine life as they transfer through the food chain.
Ex-USS CONOLLY disposed at sea in April 2009 via SINKEX.
Image Source: US Navy Photo by LT Chris Brown
Source: DISHONORABLE DISPOSAL: The Case Against Dumping
U.S. Naval Vessels at Sea; By Action Network. July 2011 Basel