Indian Court Blocks Exxon Valdez From Entering Scrap Yard

May 9, 2012

One of the most infamous ships still sailing can't dock at its final resting place just yet.

India's Supreme court has ruled that the Exxon Valdez (now called the Oriental Nicety) cannot enter a scrap yard in the western state of Gujarat until its owners can prove the tanker has been cleaned of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, residual oil and other potential contaminants.

According to The Times of India, the ship's owners plan to appeal the court ruling.

It was on March 24, 1989, as you probably recall, when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound. It spilled 11 million gallons of oil; an environmental disaster.

Since the spill, the AP says, "the tanker moved on, with five name changes ... and ownership changing repeatedly, apparently to keep the ship in use while distancing it from the disaster."

It's been estimated that the ship will bring about $16 million for its scrap parts.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit