A federal grand jury has reportedly indicted the owner of Principle Metals, LLC , a scrap-metal company, and the barge the M/V Davy Crockett, for two criminal violations of the Clean Water Act (CW A) for unlawfully discharging oil into the Columbia River near Camas, Washington, in 2010 and for failing to notify authorities of the discharge.
According to the indictment, the defendant knew when he purchased the barge to sell the metal in the barge for scrap that onboard tanks contained thousands of gallons of fuel oil and diesel fuel. Defendant assembled a crew to dismantle the barge but made no arrangements to remove the fuel oil and diesel fuel from the vessel. On December 1, 2010, a crew member cut into a vessel structural beam causing it to break apart and leak oil into the river. Neither defendant nor any crew member notified authorities of the leak. The barge continued to leak until January 27, 2011, when state and federal authorities responded.
If convicted of failing to report the release, the defendant could face up to five years in prison and a criminal fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of unlawfully discharging, the defendant could face up to three years in prison and a criminal fine of between $5,000 and $50,000 per day of violation. See EPA Press Release, September 30, 2011.