106 STAT. 5082 PUBLIC LAW 102-587 —NOV. 4, 1992 "(4) 'removal' or *remove* means relocation, sale, scrapping, or other method of disposal.
- § 4702. Abandonment of barge prohibited
"(a) An owner or operator of a barge may not abandon it on the navigable waters of the United States. A barge is deemed not to be abemdoned if— "(1) it is located at a Federally- or State-approved mooring area; "(2) it is on private property with the permission of the owner of the property; or "(3) the owner or operator notifies the Secretary that the barge is not abandoned and the location of the barge."
- § 4703. Penalty for unlawful abandonment of barge
Thirty days after the notification procedures under section 4704(a)(l) are completed, the Secretary may assess a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each day of the violation against an owner or operator that violates section 4702. A vessel with respect to which a penalty is assessed under this chapter is liable in rem for the penalty.
- § 4704. Removal of abandoned barges
"(a)(1) The Secretary may remove a barge that is abandoned after complying with the following procedures: "(A) If the identity of the owner or operator can be determined, the Secretary shall notify the owner or operator by certified mail— "(i) that if the barge is not removed it will be removed at the owner's or operator's expense; and "(ii) of the penalty under section 4703. "(B) If the identity of the owner or operator cannot be determined, the Secretary shall publish an announcement in— "(i) a notice to mariners; and "(ii) an official journal of the county in which the barge is located that if the barge is not removed it will be removed at the owner's or operator's expense. "(2) The United States, and any officer or employee of the United States is not liable to an owner or operator for damages ^ resulting from removal of an abandoned barge under this chapter. "(b) The owner or operator of an abandoned barge is liable, and an abandoned barge is liable in rem, for all expenses that the United States incurs in removing an abandoned barge under this chapter. "(c)(1) The Secretary may, after providing notice under subsection (a)(D, solicit by public advertisement sealed bids for the removal of an abandoned barge. "(2) After solicitation under paragraph (1) the Secretary may award a contract. The contract— "(A) may be subject to the condition that the barge and all property on the barge is the property of the barge removal contractor; and "(B) must require the barge removal contractor to submit to the Secretary a plan for the removal. "(3) Removal of an abandoned barge may begin thirty days after the Secretary completes the procedures under subsection (a)(l).