Exxon Valdez's Final Journey Hits Speed Bump
India refuses ship entry
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2012 8:55 AM CDT
In this April 9, 1989 file photo, crude oil from the tanker Exxon Valdez, top, swirls on the surface of Alaska's Prince William Sound near Naked Island.   (AP Photo/John Gaps III, File)

(Newser) – The Exxon Valdez will live a few days longer. Though the infamous ship, now dubbed the Oriental Nicety, was sold for scrap in March, India—the country that was to dismantle it—won't let it in. India's supreme court ruled that it must be decontaminated prior to dismantling, and cited the Basel convention, which specifies said decontamination must occur in a ship's country of export. The AP explains that mercury, arsenic, asbestos, or residual oil can contaminate ship hulls and holds.

The 26-year-old ship was being taken to the coastal town of Alang, the hub of India's shipbreaking industry; but after the court's order, permission to anchor the ship near the Alang beach was rescinded. The company contracted to dismantle the ship says it will appeal.