Fishing boat captain fined for polluting Alaska waters

Published: May. 23, 2019 at 10:19 AM AKDT
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In an email sent to Channel 2 Thursday evening, Finney said she didn't know the sand was considered toxic, and believed it was safe to discharge.

"From the beginning I have been totally honest about the events that transpired," Finney said. "I had a film crew on board and let him roll the whole thing. I didn't have him delete it because I thought it proved our intentions were good."

Original Story:

A fishing boat captain who dumped sandblast waste into southeast Alaska waters was ordered to pay $10,000 and perform 40 hours of community service.

Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Brannon Finney of Bellingham, Washington, dumped waste to avoid a $1,460 disposal fee.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble on Wednesday also ordered 18 months of probation for Finney and a public apology.

Prosecutors say Finney's boat had been sandblasted for repainting. On June 15, 2017, she and crewmembers left Wrangell for Petersburg carrying 16,000 pounds (7257 kilograms) of sandblast waste.

A camera crew filming for a possible television reality showed the vessel dumping part of the load into Sumner Strait.

An Alaska State Trooper questioned Finney in Petersburg about the material she'd carried out of Wrangell. Prosecutors say Finney acknowledged dumping it.