New York and New Jersey imposed emergency rules to track those responsible for medical waste fouling East Coast beaches, but the Navy said debris from its ships may have been dumped legally before washing ashore in North Carolina.

At Atlantic Beach, N.C., about 40 Marines and sailors drove 10 jeeps and other four-wheel drive vehicles along the 26-mile stretch of Bogues Banks shoreline, filling 25 bags with syringes, intravenous bags and medical tubes at low tide Wednesday.

The Navy said two of its ships _ the USS Nassau and the USS New Port, both based in Norfolk, Va. _ are believed to be responsible for dumping the trash.

Ten beaches on New York's Long Island remained closed Wednesday because of medical debris, while New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean set sail in New York Harbor to survey fouled waters and to announce regulations that require hospitals, labs and clinics to account for waste they place in disposal.

The new rules will create a paper trail for medical wastes by requiring four-part manifests to track those wastes from their source to their ultimate disposal sites.