The Suquamish  Tribe and two environmental organizations have filed the legal paperwork necessary to sue the Navy for what they say are violations of the Clean Water Act that could harm salmon and other marine life in Washington’s Puget Sound.

The Navy is scraping the hull of the ex-Independence, a decommissioned aircraft carrier docked in Puget Sound’s Sinclair Inlet.

Katelyn Kinn is the lawyer for Puget Soundkeeper, one of the organizations bringing the suit. She says scraping the boat’s hull could slough off copper-based paint; copper is toxic to salmon.

“Hopefully, this would send a strong message that they should stop doing it now,” she said. “At the very least, we hope to stop them from doing this into the future with other vessels.”

The Navy does not comment on potential or pending litigation, but it did tell EarthFix in a statement that it is “gently scrubbing marine growth” so as not to bring invasive species along when the boat is hauled to Texas for dismantling.