Shipping Company Fined for OWS Discharges

A Greek shipping company must pay the US federal government $300,000 after admitting that one of its vessels discharged waste oil into the Atlantic Ocean, U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. announced Wednesday in Baton Rouge. “The oceans must be protected from shipping companies that look to cut corners by dumping waste improperly,” said Ivan Vikin, special agent-in-charge of the EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Louisiana.

Half of the $300,000 fine will be paid to a crew member and citizen of the Philippines, at the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Patricia Jones. She said that the crew member service as a whistle-blower could make it difficult for him to find work aboard oceangoing ships.

Attorneys for the Shipping Company, operator of the Liberia-registered vessel, admitted in a signed statement that the ship’s crew bypassed an Oily Water Separator before pumping contaminated water from its bottom. That separator would have diverted waste oil to a sludge tank for eventual incineration. Instead, a hose was used to dump the oil into the ocean during a 16-day voyage in August 2011 from Spain to the United States.

Through its attorneys, the shipping company entered a plea of guilty to a single charge of failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and agreed to pay the $300,000 fine imposed by Brady. The judge then awarded $150,000 of that money to the whistle-blower.

Source: Bill Lodge @ The Advocate

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