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Civil Penalty

Corps of Engineers Civil Penalties Rise

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is adjusting its civil penalty rules to account for inflation. Effective July 26, the maximum Class I civil penalty that the agency may assess under the Clean Water Act and the National Fishing Enhancement Act will increase to $11,000. 69 Fed. Reg. 35515 (HK Law)

FMC Compromise Agreements

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a Notice reporting that it entered into nine compromise agreements with vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs), ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), freight forwarders, and proprietary shippers regarding alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984. Under the agreements, the FMC will recover an aggregate amount of $549,000 in civil penalties. Source: HK

CG Investigates Near Collision

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay is investigating the near collision between a container ship Santa Monica and the fishing vessel Cheryl-C near the Golden Gate Bridge. At approximately 7:50 a.m. on August 16, 2005, the container ship Santa Monica was traveling outbound past the Golden Gate Bridge and had to make a drastic course change to avoid a collision with the fishing vessel Cheryl-C

NJ Sues RCCL After Diversion

Reports indicate that New Jersey's attorney general sued Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for diverting a Bermuda-bound cruise to Canada last summer and refusing to issue refunds. The cruise line said a looming storm prompted the change, and was adhering to policies. The state's lawsuit accuses the cruise line of violating the state Consumer Fraud Act. It seeks restitution for the people aboard the ship plus civil penalties.

CBP – Vessel APIS Guide

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued its Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) Guide for Vessels. APIS manifests are required to be submitted through the USCG electronic Notice of Arrival/Departure (eNOA/D) web portal for all commercial vessels arriving from or departing for a foreign port or place. The Guide serves to describe the criteria used and the manner in which CBP evaluates the APIS manifest’s compliance with the submission requirements

CG Stops 4 Unsafe Passenger Vessels

Boarding team members from Coast Guard Station Yankeetown stopped four unsafe passenger vessels operating on the Crystal River, Fla., and in the vicinity of Homosassa, Fla., Dec. 29, through Dec. 31, 2008. During random safety boardings, crewmembers discovered two commercial vessels operated by Stadt Aquatic Adventures operating with more than their maximum allowable passengers. Additionally, Yankeetown crews discovered that the captain of the second vessel failed to properly report a marine

Puget Sound Has New Tank Ship Security Zone

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary moving security zone of 500 yards surrounding tank ships while within the waters of Puget Sound and adjacent waters, WA. All vessels within 500 yards of a tank ship shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course, and shall proceed as directed by the Official Patrol or tank ship master. The Official Patrol will consist of a Coast Guard patrol, or a General Authority Washington Peace Officer

Riverkeeper Commends Dumping Bill

Riverkeeper, a New York clean water advocate, commended the New York City Council for passing Int. 54-A, a bill substantially increasing penalties for illegal dumping in New York City Waters. The bill, passed unanimously by the City Council, creates a new civil penalty for dumping into the waterways where none currently exists, setting fines at not less than $1,500 or more than $10,000 for the first violation, and not less than $5,000 or more than $20,000 for each subsequent violation. 

USCG Plans to Up Passenger Boat Enforcement

U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard to step up enforcement of passenger boats along Florida’s coast, reminds passengers to “Ask the Captain”   The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies are stepping up enforcement of illegally operated passenger boats in the waters along Florida’s coast prior to and during the Labor Day weekend.   Over the past several months there has been an increase in the illegal and unsafe operation of passenger boats less than 100 tons

Fishing Company Charged Over $1 Mln in Oil Spill Penalties

Photo courtesy of Tri-Marine

Tri-Marine Management Co., Tri-Marine Fishing Management and Cape Mendocino Fishing (Tri-Marine) have agreed to pay $1.05 million in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide inspections and other corrective measures to resolve claims stemming from an October 2014 oil spill in American Samoa and related violations of spill prevention regulations, the Department of Justice and the Coast Guard announced today. 

Shell Protesters Cited for Entering Safety Zone

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Puget Sound investigating officers initiated civil penalties, Friday, against four individuals who entered an established safety-zone around a Shell-contracted vessel in Bellingham during Memorial Day weekend.  

Shell Arctic Rig Protesters Detained and Released

USCG photo by Katelyn Shearer

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), partner agencies detain, release violators of established safety zone   The 24 people who violated the 500-yard safety zone established around the Shell Arctic drilling rig Polar Pioneer were detained by USCG and partner agency law enforcement personnel Monday

Carnival Faces Penalties Over ADA Compliance

Carnival Breeze (Photo: Carnival Corp.)

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Carnival Corp. Over ADA Violations by Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises   The U.S. Justice Department and Carnival Corp. have reached a comprehensive, landmark settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities

FMC Collects $1,227,500 in Penalties from NVOCC's


Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $1,227,500 in civil penalties.   The agreements were reached with seven non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and one vessel-operating common

Air Draft Alert: Bayonne Bridge Struck Twice this Year

Bayonne Bridge: Wiki CCL credit Lamune

The Bayonne Bridge is undergoing a two-year construction project to raise the roadway an average of 65 feet. The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey says that it has been struck twice in the past 4 months. The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey

Reminder Stresses Importance of Accurate Clearance Information

The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey, has issued a reminder about the importance of providing accurate clearance information, and warns that civil penalties may be pursued against any vessel owner, master or person in charge that provides inaccurate information that contributes to a bridge

Coast Guard Seizes Illegal Catch, Crew Member Injured

US Coast Guard

  The Coast Guard interdicted a Mexican fishing crew poaching in South Texas, Thursday, after it was pursued by a Coast Guard aircraft and intercepted by the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Cobia. In an unrelated incident after intercepting the lancha

Safety Zone for L'Auberge 4th of July Celebration

The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans, under the authority of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, will establish a safety zone on the Lower Mississippi River, Above Head of Passes, from MM 215.0 to MM 217.0, in the vicinity of the L'Auberge Casino, Baton Rouge, LA

BP 'Grossly Negligent' in 2010 US Spill, Fines Could Be $18b

Discoverer Inspiration arrives to install the capping stack in July 2010 (Photo: BP)

A U.S. judge has decided that BP Plc was "grossly negligent" and "reckless" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago, a ruling that could add nearly $18 billion in fines to more than $42 billion in charges the company took for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U

FMC Recovers $503,000 in Penalties


Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $503,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with five non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs)

US, ATP-IP Reach Settlement over Unauthorized Oil Discharges

Offshore Oil Platform Owner to Improve Safety and Operations in Gulf of Mexico Following Unauthorized Oil Discharges; EPA and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement secure settlement in first joint judicial enforcement action under Clean Water Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

Testing US Oil Export Ban Carries Risks

Companies eager to export U.S. oil face fines and other risks if they stray from government-approved practices, trade lawyers said this week, but the challenge is figuring out what the government allows because its rulings have so far been private.

Courts Upholds BP 'gross negligence' Gulf Spill Ruling

A U.S. judge weighing how much BP Plc should be punished for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Thursday refused to overturn his own finding that the oil company's conduct was "grossly negligent." The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans means BP could still

The Legal Consequences of 46 CFR Subchapter “M”

Daniel J. Fitzgerald

As the holiday season and the end of another year quickly approaches, the towing industry patiently waits for the Coast Guard to finalize the long-awaited towing vessel inspection rule.  More than 10 years ago, Congress passed the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004

BP Bid to Cut Gulf Spill fine Denied

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc's attempt to reduce the maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal Clean Water Act. U.S

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