Owner of Derelict Barge Davy Crockett Indicted
by Scott Learn
A federal grand jury today indicted a Washington man on accusations of attempting to scrap the barge Davy Crockett in the Columbia River and spewing pollution, an incident that sparked a $20 million government cleanup earlier this year.
Bret A. Simpson, a scrap dealer from Ellensburg, Wash., is charged with two felony counts of Clean Water Act violations in December and January, one for unlawful discharge and one for failing to immediately report the pollution.
The indictment alleges that Simpson purchased the 430-foot converted World War II Navy vessel in June 2010, knew it had fuel oil and diesel aboard, but did not remove the contamination before beginning to scrap it on the Columbia near Camas, Wash.
Simpson and a crew began dismantling the barge in October. On Dec. 1, the vessel started breaking and began to leak after a worker cut a structural beam. But neither Simpson nor anyone else acting on behalf of his company, Principle Metals, LLC, reported the pollution, the indictment says. He did stop the scrapping and used a containment boom to limit the release.
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Cleanup of Derelict Barge Davy Crockett on Columbia River Nearly Complete by Scott Learn, The Oregonian, 8/23/11
Davy Crockett One of Many Dilapidated Vessels on the Columbia by Kristian Foden-Vencil, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2/3/11
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