Navy settles lawsuit, won’t scrape ship hulls in Puget Sound

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Navy has agreed to a 10-year moratorium on scraping the hulls of decommissioned vessels in Puget Sound. The deal, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, settles a lawsuit filed by the Suquamish Tribe and two environmental groups. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined the case. The lawsuit alleged that when the Navy cleaned the hull of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Independence at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in 2017, workers used abrasive scrubbers and blasted the hull with powerful jets of water. That sent bits of paint, the metals zinc and copper, and other contaminants into Sinclair Inlet.