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Wednesday, September 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Groups, tribe say they’ll sue Navy over ship hull cleaning

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson departs from Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 13, 2003. (JOHN FROSCHAUER / AP)
The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson departs from Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 13, 2003. (JOHN FROSCHAUER / AP)
Associated Press

BREMERTON – The Suquamish Tribe and two environmental groups have filed notice they intend to sue the Navy, alleging the Navy is cleaning a decommissioned aircraft carrier in Sinclair Inlet in violation of federal clean-water laws.

The tribe, Washington Environmental Council and Puget Soundkeeper allege that divers are scraping the hull of the USS Independence outside Bremerton and sending harmful copper-based paint into the water. They say the Navy should have obtained permits under the Clean Water Act.

Navy spokeswoman Colleen O’Rourke said in a statement that skilled divers are gently scrubbing marine growth on the hull of the ship to prevent the possible transfer of invasive species. The ship is being cleaned before it is towed to Texas, where it will be dismantled. She declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.

The Kitsap Sun reports that state and federal regulators have also expressed concerns that the Navy’s actions might harm the fragile waterway.

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4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.