33 CFR 245.30 - Identification of responsible parties.
(a) Investigation. When marking or removal are determined to be appropriate remedial action and no emergency situation exists, the District Engineer will investigate to determine the owner or, if the owner cannot be determined, the lessee or operator. If cargo is involved, ownership will be separately determined.
(b) Notification. If the owner or other responsible party can be determined, the District Engineer and/or the Coast Guard will send a notice, via certified mail, advising them of their legal obligation to mark (referencing Coast Guard requirements) and to remove the obstruction, and of the legal consequences for failure to do so, with a request for prompt reply of intent.
(c) Public notice. If the owner or responsible party cannot be determined from investigation, the District Engineer will publish a legal advertisement in a newspaper nearest the location of the obstruction and in a newspaper of at least 25,000 circulation, addressed “To Whom It May Concern,” requiring removal by the owner, lessee or operator. The advertisement will be published at least once a week for 30 days.