31 May 2023
Financial and Environmental Impact of Ever Forward grounding
The containership Ever Forward has successfully refloated. However, Maryland State expects Evergreen to cover the financial costs resulting from the environmental impact of Ever Forward grounding.
Doug Myers, a scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation positioned on the matter advising that; Prior to dredging, the Bay water was only about 20 feet deep. Having enough oxygen at the bottom to support marine life such as clams. Nevertheless, the mud bottoms also include buried oyster shells, which have good habitat value. But, dredging doubled the depth of the Bay.
“When a vessel grounds, it’s basically plowing into all of that and probably killing all of the organisms that are in there,”Doug Myers, Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Dredging permits in non-emergency situations usually require a year of environmental review and an environmental impact statement
The State of Maryland has asked Evergreen to establish a so-called responsibility fund to pay for costs related to the month-long grounding of its Ever Forward vessel in the state’s Chesapeake Bay.
Last week, state Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, a Democratic candidate for governor, called on Benjamin Tsai, the president of Evergreen Shipping Agency Corporation. Hence, advising to set up a $100 million “responsibility fund” for reimbursement of; labor hours and resources that federal, state and local agencies laid out for refloating efforts and compensation for watermen and the seafood industry for the ship’s impact on their harvest season.
“While we do not know the full scope of the environmental impact thus far, a 131,420-ton ship, carrying tons of cargo and fuel, getting stuck in our waters undoubtedly has resulted in disruptions to the Bay’s fragile ecosystem. The damage that this incident has already caused – and could potentially continue to cause – will require financial resources to correct,”Peter V.R. Franchot, Comptroller, State of Maryland
Therefore, money from the fund would potentially compensate workers in the seafood industry, if impacted. Thus, pay the cost of labor for employees from federal, state, and local agencies involved in refloating the ship.
“The establishment of this fund will send a clear message that Evergreen is a good faith actor; understands the environmental and economic damage this incident has caused to the state; and truly lives up to its commitment to environmental protection,”Peter V.R. Franchot, Comptroller, State of Maryland