Environmental study needed on USS Yorktown

USS Yorktown (Felicia Allyn/WCIV)

By Sonya

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) --{}There is a mystery aboard the USS Yorktownwhat is inside hundreds of un-opened containers?

The containers, which have been on the ship since it arrived in Mt. Pleasant in 1975, could contain potentially hazardous materials.

"It's important to note that even though there are hazardous materials on this ship, none of it is in a situation that it would ever threaten the public or employees," said Mac Burdette, Patriot's Point Executive Director. "Again it is things like asbestos that if you don't disturb it, it's fine or the remaining bunker fuel oil that is in some of the tanks below the decks. The public never comes in contact with that and never would."

But if there is anything hazardous in the containers, it would need to be removed before any work can be done on the World War II carrier.

"This is the first step in our efforts to completely restore the Yorktown and you have to start that first step and it's going to be a long process," said Burdette. "It's probably going to take us two to three years to get all the information we need to know exactly what needs to be done on the Yorktown."

Burdette is hoping that the study on the potentially hazardous materials can begin in August. Once that is complete, they can bring in experts to do the structural analysis.

"Once we have got that analysis and those reports, then we are in a better position to start figuring out where the money is going to come from to do the tens of millions of dollars worth of work that she needs," said Burdette.

He feels confident that they can pay for all of these renovations, taking it one project at a time. "We married her for the long haul and that's a great thing. Many generations to come are going to be able to come here and learn from this ship and enjoy it. I don't think there is any question about that, but we have got to come up with a plan how to deal with that," said Burdette.

Officials say they don't know exactly how much this project will cost, but they have the necessary funds in their "savings account." Once they get the final bill and the state approves the project, the board can allocate the money.

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