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Google's 'mystery barge' under investigation

SAN FRANCISCO -- The agency that oversees development in the San Francisco Bay in California has begun a formal investigation into the construction of a secretive Google Inc. barge on an island in the bay.

The probe, which began in the past week, will examine what permits are needed to build the barge and whether the owners of the Treasure Island pier where the vessel is moored have the proper permits, said Larry Goldzband, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

“We want to make sure that the permits that are used by the owners of the pier actually allowed for construction to happen,” Goldzband told Reuters on Wednesday, referring to what he described as “a preliminary and formal enforcement investigation.”

A report in the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, citing documents that Google submitted to barge builder Turner Construction Co, refer to a “floating retail store.”

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