Washington AG Bob Ferguson threatens to sue Navy citing pollution concerns, harm to marine life
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a statement yesterday, announcing his plans to potentially join a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy for polluting water in the Puget Sound. To read the letter he sent to the federal government with his intent, click here.
Ferguson says that in January of 2017 the Navy scraped the hull of a decommissioned vessel, resulting in 50 dump-truck loads of solid copper, zinc and other material into the sound. The Navy studied the water after the vessel was scraped, and the levels of pollutants they released were reportedly higher than standards allowed by the state.
The original lawsuit was filed in June of 2017 by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the Washington Environmental Council and Suqamish Tribe, citing the Navy had violated the Clean Water Act.
“Keeping Puget Sound clean is vital to the health of Washingtonians and our struggling salmon and orcas,” Ferguson said in the statement. “The Navy must follow the same rules as everyone else to protect our waters.”
Ferguson’s letter asks the court to require the Navy to clean up their material to prevent further release into the Puget Sound. He says he is giving the Navy 60 days before he officially partakes in the lawsuit.
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