Barge Owner Indicted For $20M Columbia River Oil Spill

Law360, New York (September 30, 2011, 6:13 PM EDT) -- A Washington grand jury indicted a barge owner Thursday, charging him with violating the Clean Water Act by illegally discharging oil into the Columbia River and failing to notify authorities about the spill, leading to a $20 million cleanup effort.

Bret A. Simpson, the owner of Principle Metals LLC, knew that a tank onboard a recently purchased barge contained thousands of gallons of oil and diesel fuel, but took no steps to remove the fuel before starting to dismantle the ship, according to the indictment....
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