BENECIA, Calif. (AP) - Northern California's "ghost fleet" is disappearing faster than anticipated.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited the armada of decaying warships in Suisun Bay on Friday to announce the U.S. Marine Administration has already removed and recycled 36 of the fleet's original 57 vessels.
LaHood says three more will be taken away by year's end, and the entire fleet will be gone by 2017.
The administration had previously committed to removing 28 ships by Sept. 30.
The Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet is made up of obsolete military vessels, including some that chased submarines and transported troops during World War II.
Facing a lawsuit, the government agreed to remove the warships, which have been polluting the waters of Suisun Bay, a shallow estuary between San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.