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Whenever the navigation of any river, lake, harbor, sound, bay, canal, or other navigable waters of the United States shall be obstructed or endangered by any sunken vessel, boat, water craft, raft, or other similar obstruction, and such obstruction has existed for a longer period than thirty days, or whenever the abandonment of such obstruction can be legally established in a less space of time, the sunken vessel, boat, water craft, raft, or other obstruction shall be subject to be broken up, removed, sold, or otherwise disposed of by the Secretary of War at his discretion, without liability for any damage to the owners of the same: Provided, That in his discretion, the Secretary of War may cause reasonable notice of such obstruction of not less than thirty days, unless the legal abandonment of the obstruction can be established in a less time, to be given by publication, addressed “To whom it may concern,” in a newspaper published nearest to the locality of the obstruction, requiring the removal thereof: And provided also, That the Secretary of War may, in his discretion, at or after the time of giving such notice, cause sealed proposals to be solicited by public advertisement, giving reasonable notice of not less than ten days, for the removal of such obstruction as soon as possible after the expiration of the above specified thirty days' notice, in case it has not in the meantime been so removed, these proposals and contracts, at his discretion, to be conditioned that such vessel, boat, water craft, raft, or other obstruction, and all cargo and property contained therein, shall become the property of the contractor, and the contract shall be awarded to the bidder making the proposition most advantageous to the United States: Provided, That such bidder shall give satisfactory security to execute the work: Provided further, That any money received from the sale of any such wreck, or from any contractor for the removal of wrecks, under this paragraph shall be covered into the Treasury of the United States. (Sec. 19.)
Under emergency, in the case of any vessel, boat, water craft, or raft, or other similar obstruction, sinking or grounding, or being unnecessarily delayed in any Government canal or lock, or in any navigable waters mentioned in section nineteen, in such manner as to stop, seriously interfere with or specially endanger navigation, in the opinion of the Secretary of War, or any agent of the United States to whom the Secretary may delegate proper authority, the Secretary of War or any such agent shall have the right to take immediate possession of such boat, vessel, or other water craft, or raft, so far as to remove or to destroy it and to clear immediately the canal, lock, or navigable waters aforesaid of the obstruction thereby caused, using his best judgment to prevent any unnecessary injury; and no one shall interfere with or prevent such removal or destruction: Provided, That the officer or agent charged with the removal or destruction of an obstruction under this section may in his discretion give notice in writing to the owners of any such obstruction requiring them to remove it: And provided further, That the expense of removing any such obstruction as aforesaid shall be a charge against such craft and cargo; and if the owners thereof fail or refuse to reimburse the United States for such expense within thirty days after notification, then the officer or agent aforesaid may sell the craft or cargo, or any part thereof thạt may not have been destroyed in removal, and the proceeds of such sale shall be covered into the Treasury of the United States.
Such sum of money as may be necessary to execute this section and the preceding section of this Act is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be paid out on the requisition of the Secretary of War. (Mar. 3, 1899, sec. 20.)
All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the foregoing sections ten to twenty, inclusive, of this Act are hereby repealed : Provided, That no action begun, or right of action accrued, prior to the passage of this Act shall be affected by this repeal. Provided further, That nothing contained in the said foregoing sections shall be construed as repealing, modifying, or in any manner affecting the provisions of an Act of Congress approved June twenty-ninth, eighteen hundred and eighty-eight, entitled “An Act to prevent obstructive and injurious deposits within the habor and adjacent waters of New York City, by dumping or otherwise, and to punish and prevent such offenses," as amended by section three of the River and Harbor Act of August eighteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-four. (Mar. 3, 1899, sec. 20, June 13, 1902, sec. 12.) Speed of Vessels; Navigation of Canals.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of War to prescribe such regulations for the use, administration, and navigation of the navigable waters of the United States as in his judgment the public necessity may require for the protection of life and property, or of operations of the United States in channel improvement, covering all matters not specifically delegated by law to some other executive department. Such regulations shall be posted, in conspicuous and appropriate places, for the information of the public; and every person and every corporation which shall violate such regulations shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof in any district court of the United States within whose territorial jurisdiction such offense may have been committed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500, or by imprisonment (in the case of a natural person) not exceeding six months, in the discretion of the court. (Aug. 18, 1894, sec. 4; June 13, 1902, sec, 11; Aug. 8, 1917, sec. 7.)
In the interest of the national defense and for the better protection of life and property on said waters, the Secretary of War is hereby authorized and empowered to prescribe such regulations as he may deem best for the use and navigation of any portion or areas of the navigable waters of the United States or waters under the jurisdiction of the United States endangered or likely to be endangered by Coast Artillery fire in target practice or otherwise, or by the proving operations of the Government ordnance proving ground at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, or at any Government ordnance proving ground that may be established elsewhere on or near such waters, and of any portion or area of said waters occupied by submarine mines, mine fields, submarine cables, or other material and accessories pertaining to seacoast fortifications; and the said Secretary of War shall have like power to regulate the transportation of explosives upon any of said waters. (Sec. 1.)
To enforce the regulations prescribed pursuant to this section the Secretary of War may detail any public vessel in the service of the War Department, or, upon the request of the Secretary of War, the head of any other department may enforce, and the head of any such department is hereby authorized to enforce, such regulations by means of any public vessel of such department. (July 9, 1918, sec. 2.)
Any regulations heretofore or hereafter prescribed by the Secretary of War in pursuance of the fourth and fifth sections of the River and Harbor Act of August eighteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-four, and any regulations, hereafter prescribed in pursuance of the aforesaid section four as amended by section eleven of this Act, may be enforced as provided in section seventeen of the River and Harbor Act of March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, the provisions whereof are hereby made applicable to the said regulations. (June 13, 1902, sec. 6.) Potomac River. It shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant of any
wharf or dock, any master or captain of any vessel, or any person or persons to cast, throw, drop, or deposit any ballast, dirt, oyster shells, or ashes in the water in any part of the Potomac River or its tributaries in the District of Columbia, or on the shores of said river below high-water mark, unless for the purpose of making a wharf, after permission has been obtained from the Commissioners of the District of Columbia for that purpose, which wharf shall be sufficiently enclosed and secured so as to prevent injury to navigation. (Sec. 1.)
It shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant of any wharf or dock, any captain or master of any vessel, or any other person or persons to cast, throw, deposit, or drop in any dock or in the waters of the Potomac River or its tributaries in the District of Columbia
any dead fish, fish offal, deal animals of any kind, condemned oysters in the shell, watermelons, cantaloupes, vegetables, fruits, shavings, hay, straw, ice, snow, filth, or trash of any kind whatsoever. (Sec. 2.)
Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof in the police court of the District of Columbia shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such punishments, in the discretion of the court. (Sec. 3.)
Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to interfere with the work of improvement in or along the said river and harbor, under the supervision of the United States Government. (May 19, 1896, sec. 4.) Mississippi River Passes.
The Secretary of War be, and is hereby, authorized to make such rules and regulations for the navigation of the South and Southwest passes of the Mississippi River as to him shall seem necessary or expedient for the purpose of preventing any obstruction to the channels through said South and Southwest passes and any injury to the works therein constructed. The term "South and Southwest passes," as herein employed, shall be construed as embracing the entire extent of channel, in each case, between the upper ends of the works at the head of the pass and the outer or sea ends of the jetties at the entrance from the Gulf of Mexico; and any willful violation of any rule or regulation made by the Secretary of War in pursuance of this Act shall be deemed a misdemeanor, for which the owner or owners, agent or agents, master or pilot of the vessel so offending shall be separately or collectively responsible, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars, nor exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not exceeding three months, or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. (Mar. 3, 1909, sec. 5.)
New York Harbor.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to engage in fishing or dredging for shellfish in any of the channels leading to and from the harbor of New York, or to interfere in any way with the safe navigation of those channels by ocean steamships and ships of deep draft. Any person or persons violating the foregoing provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine or imprisonment, or both, such fine to be not more than two hundred and fifty dollars nor less than fifty dollars, and the imprisonment to be not more than six months nor less than thirty days, either or both united, as the judge before whom conviction is obtained shall decide. It shall be the duty of the United States Supervisor of the harbor to enforce this Act, and the deputy inspectors of the said supervisor shall have authority to arrest and take into custody, with or without process, any person or persons who may commit any of the acts or offenses prohibited by this Act: Provided, That no person shall be arrested without process for any offense not committed in the presence of the supervisor or his inspector or deputy inspectors, or either of them: And further provided, That whenever any such arrest is made the person or persons so arrested shall be brought forthwith before a commissioner, judge, or court of the United States for examination of the offenses alleged against him; and such commissioner, judge, or court shall proceed in respect thereto as authorized by law in case of crimes against the United States. (Aug. 18, 1894, sec. 2.)
The placing, discharging, or depositing, by any process or in any manner, of refuse, dirt, ashes, cinders, mud, sand, dredgings, sludge, acid, or any other matter of any kind, other than that flowing from streets, sewers, and passing therefrom in a liquid state, in the tidal waters of the harbor of New York, or its adjacent or tributary waters, or in those of Long Island Sound, within the limits which shall be prescribed by the supervisor of the harbor, is hereby strictly forbidden. And every such act is made a misdemeanor, and every person engaged in or who shall aid, abet, authorize, or instigate a violation of this section, shall, upon conviction, be punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, such fine to be not less than two hundred and fifty dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars, and the imprisonment to be not less than thirty days nor more than one year, either or both united, as the judge before whom conviction is obtained shall decide, one-half of said fine to be paid to the