Owner of Wash. grounded barge faces federal charge

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CAMAS, Wash. (AP) -- The owner of a derelict barge left in the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., has been indicted on charges that he violated the federal Clean Water Act.

The charges brought by Western Washington U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan allege Bret Simpson unlawfully discharged oil into the river and failed to notify authorities of the discharge.

The 431-foot converted World War II-era ship partially sank in January. The vessel buckled due to structural instability. About 70 gallons of oil reached the river.

The last section of the barge, called the Davy Crockett, was lifted from the water in late August, nearly seven months after efforts began to remove it.

The estimated costs for the project are about $20 million, which officials say is covered by the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.