Our Pacific Northwest
Crocket Owner Fined for Tarnishing Frontier
Photo via The Columbian
The Columbian reported yesterday the owner of the Davy Crocket, an oil barge which caused a massive oil spill in the Columbia River in 2011, has been fined $405,000 by the Washington State Department of Ecology. According to the article, the Davy Crocket was purchased by Principle Metals LLC in 2010 before the company’s owner decided to scrap the ship with thousands of gallons of oil still on board. The vessel, which formerly served in World War II, eventually lost its battle against time and began to leak oil into the Columbia River. Efforts to clean the spill took 10 months and, according to the report, cost taxpayers more than $22 million. Although this amount initially seems shorthanded, it does not include bills the Coast Guard and other agencies will likely foot Principle Metals with in the coming months. Bret Simpson, the owner of the barge during the spill, has pleaded guilty to two criminal violations, and will be sentenced sometime in March. The damage caused by the spill will impact the river for years to come, but it is satisfying none the less that justice will be served for those who neglected the precious ecology of our Pacific Northwest.