33 CFR 245.10 - General policy.
(a) Coordination with Coast Guard. The Corps of Engineers coordinates its wreck removal program with the Coast Guard through interagency agreement, to insure a coordinated approach to the protection of federal interests in navigation and safety. Disagreements at the field level are resolved by referral to higher authority within each agency, ultimately (within the Corps of Engineers) to the Director of Civil Works, who retains the final authority to make independent determinations where Corps responsibilities and activities are affected.
(b) Owner responsibility. Primary responsibility for removal of wrecks or other obstructions lies with the owner, lessee, or operator. Where an obstruction presents a hazard to navigation which warrants removal, the District Engineer will attempt to identify the owner or other responsible party and vigorously pursue removal by that party before undertaking Corps removal.
(c) Emergency authority. Obstructions which impede or stop navigation; or pose an immediate and significant threat to life, property, or a structure that facilitates navigation; may be removed by the Corps of Engineers under the emergency authority of section 20 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as amended.
(d) Non-emergency situations. In other than emergency situations, all reported obstructions will be evaluated jointly by the District Engineer and the Coast Guard district for impact on safe navigation and for determination of a course of action, which may include the need for removal. Obstructions which are not a hazard to general navigation will not be removed by the Corps of Engineers.
(e) Corps removal. Where removal is warranted and the responsible party cannot be identified or does not pursue removal diligently, the District Engineer may pursue removal by the Corps of Engineers under section 19 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as amended, following procedures outlined in this CFR part.