The State Marine Board and the Department of Environmental Quality are seeking a statutory change regarding how they can deal with derelict and abandoned vessels, ships, etc., on Oregon's waterways and ports. This measure(HB 2233) would shorten the time allowed for the Marine Board to remove these vessels, and clarifies who can remove them. DEQ would have an increased ability to investigate vessels for possible hazardous materials that pose significant risks of environmental pollution by means of a vessel's derelict condition. Members of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, and Metro supported this bill. According to State Representative Brad Witt members of the committee wondered if DEQ's new investigative powers might constitute an illegal search.
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