U.S. Attorney issues statement on removal of “Casey’s Barge”

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a statement Friday about the removal of the Casey Barge (barge) from the Chattanooga waterfront near downtown Chattanooga. The barge, which has been a source of contention for more than a year, left Chattanooga on Thursday, April 30, 2015, to be transported to Mobile, Alabama.

“The recent removal of the Casey barge was a result of cooperative efforts by several federal and state agencies. Through the diligent efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kent Anderson and Kenny Saffles, who worked closely with trustee Jerry Farinash, Assistant U.S. Trustee Kim Swafford, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, this long-time eye sore is now gone from the city of Chattanooga,” said U.S. Attorney William C. “Bill” Killian. Killian added, “The agencies involved all worked together to protect the environment and the Chattanooga waterfront from a potential disaster. We wish to thank them for their efforts to expedite the removal of the barge consistent with safety, law and regulations.”

Owners of the barge have been involved in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings for several years. In February 2015, Nashville District Counsel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, regarding concerns over the condition of the barge, its potential hazards to the environment and navigation on the river, and the need for its removal. Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Eastern District of Tennessee, together with the Corps and the office of the U.S. Trustee, advocated for the appointment of a special trustee to oversee the barge owner’s estate and the disposition of the barge itself. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court appointed Chattanooga attorney Jerry Farinash to serve in this capacity.

In an effort to have the barge removed from the Chattanooga waterfront, Mr. Farinash initiated the removal process by seeing that required inspections of the barge were performed and that necessary governmental approvals regarding seaworthiness were obtained. During the process, the barge, which had partially sunk on at least one prior occasion, again took on water. Mr. Farinash arranged for the water to be pumped out and the barge raised up to an acceptable navigable level. Ultimately, Mr. Farinash obtained the required approvals and entered into a contract for permanent removal of the barge.

Categories: Government & Politics, Hamilton County, Local News

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