Disposal of Pyrotechnic Visual Distress Signals


Krzysztof A. Borowicz, Megan A. Dion, Jason N. Mehta, Glen J. Morgan


United States Coast Guard


James Hanlan, Paul Davis


October – December 2014

Project Outcomes

Final Report


The United States Coast Guard sought a safe, environmentally sound disposal method for expired boat safety flares (Pyrotechnic Visual Distress Signals). Drawing on a model Canadian program and extensive study of various alternatives, we developed a four-phase process: motivating boaters to bring expired flares to local collection sites, storing flares safely at those sites, transporting them legally and economically to EPA-approved incinerators, then disposal via incineration. We recommended funding a pilot program run by a volunteer boating organization to validate all phases of this process.