The Navy is polluting local waterways when it scrapes the hulls of decommissioned vessels, according to Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Ferguson says that in 2017, the Navy scraped the hull of a 60,000-ton aircraft carrier prior to transport at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. In doing so, according to Ferguson, the Navy released approximately 50 dump truck loads of solid material into Sinclair Inlet.
Ferguson has announced his intent to join a lawsuit challenging the Navy's process to scrape hulls in a letter to the federal government. In the letter, Ferguson states the release of pollutants violates federal and state Clean Water Acts and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
“Keeping Puget Sound clean is vital to the health of Washingtonians and our struggling salmon and orcas,” Ferguson said. “The Navy must follow the same rules as everyone else to protect our waters.”
The Navy has not responded to KING 5's request for a comment.
Ferguson and others are asking the Navy clean up the material discharge, which included copper and zinc, as well as prevent the Navy from releasing more toxins into the water in the future. Ferguson says he will join the effort if the Navy doesn't resolve the issue in the coming weeks.