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Press Release

United States Attorney William C. "Bill" Killian Compliments Agencies' Actions in Barge Removal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a statement today 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.


Updated February 4, 2016