Derelict Vessel Owner Ordered To Pay More Than $1 Million For Columbia River Oil Spill

Jan 28, 2013

A Washington man was hit with more than one million dollars in fines and cleanup charges stemming from a derelict vessel’s oil spill in the Columbia.

The Washington Ecology Department fined Bret A. Simpson and Principle Metals LCC, four-hundred and five thousand dollars for the spill and billed them for another six-hundred and eighty thousand dollars in cleanup costs.

Simpson was scraping the barge, the Davy Crockett, in the river near Camas, Washington, when it began leaking oil in 2010.

Cleanup crews recovered more than 38,000 gallons of oil from the Davy Crockett.

Ecology’s Jim Sachet described the impact of the spill:

“We know that it added to an already stressed environment in the Columbia River. The treat to endangered fish and marine mammals is really significant.”

Simpson pleaded guilty last year to two criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. His sentencing has been set for March 18 in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio