Barge Demolition Case in Courtby Barb Owens
Daily Record, December 9, 2011
In September, Bret Simpson was indicted by a grand jury on accusations that he twice violated the federal Clean Water Act when scrapping the Davy Crockett, a 430-foot World War II-era vessel. Simpson purchased the old hospital building in Ellensburg last week.
According to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Simpson did not remove the oil and fuel before scrapping the barge, which was moored in the Columbia River near Camas. During scrapping, a steel beam was cut, causing the barge to break and release oil into the Columbia River.
The Davy Crockett had been converted into a barge and contained several thousand gallons of oil and diesel when Simpson bought it in June 2010.
Simpson did not report the incident and did not make any attempt to protect the barge from further structural damage, the indictment said. Total cost to clean up the pollution was more than $22 million, according to the state Department of Ecology.
Simpson pleaded not guilty to all charges during his arraignment in October. His trial is scheduled for Aug. 27, 2012.
Simpson and his public defender could not be reached for comment.
Cleanup of Derelict Barge Davy Crockett on Columbia River Nearly Complete by Scott Learn, Department of Ecology News Release, 11/23/11
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