An update is expected on the progress of the Yorktown Environmental Project

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) – The South Carolina Resilience Authority will release an update Tuesday morning on a multi-million dollar project to remove toxic contaminants from the USS Yorktown.

Governor Henry McMaster and First District Representative Nancy Mace are scheduled to speak at a press conference at 10 a.m. at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.

In 2022, McMaster signed an executive order directing SCOR to commission a renewal cost study and begin the process of removing hundreds of thousands of gallons of contaminants from the ship.

“USS Yorktown’s outer shell is severely corroded, and the potential for environmental disaster only increases with each passing year,” McMaster said in a statement at the time. “This executive order protects the Port of Charleston and the entire Lowcountry from hazardous materials leaking into the harbor from the USS Yorktown. It would cause untold damage to the natural resources of the area and to nearby harbor ecosystems such as marshes, estuaries, barrage islands, tidal waters and beaches.

Mace calls Yorktown a “national treasure.”

In 1975, the U.S. Navy donated the World War II Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown to South Carolina for display as a museum ship at Patriots Point in Charleston Harbor.

In 2013, Patriots Point authorities accessed environmental cleanup of approximately 160,000 gallons of oil and 1.6 million gallons of affected contaminated water and polychlorinated biphenyl compounds that were not removed from the ship’s 428 marine tanks and compartments. The Shaw Group was commissioned to conduct an investigation. US Navy. The study concluded that complete restoration work would cost up to $4.4 million.

South Carolina Chief Resilience Officer Ben Duncan and Department of Natural Resources Director Robert Boyles are also scheduled to attend Tuesday’s press conference.

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