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Vessel Pollution

Ship Company to Pay $10.5M for Covering up Oil Pollution

MSC Ship Management (Hong Kong) Limited—a Hong Kong-based container ship company—has agreed to plead guilty to charges that it engaged in conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, false statements and violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the Department of Justice announced today. Per the terms of a plea agreement that must be approved by the court, MSC Ship Management will pay $10.5 million in penalties. This is the largest fine in which a single vessel has been charged with deliberate pollution and the largest criminal fine paid by a defendant in an environmental case in Massachusetts history. According to the plea agreement, including a joint factual statement, MSC Ship Management will plead guilty to a criminal information which charges that a specially fitted steel pipe, referred to as the “magic pipe,” was used on the MSC Elena, a 30,971 ton container ship, to circumvent required ship pollution prevention equipment and discharge oil sludge and oil contaminated waste directly overboard. Upon the discovery of this bypass equipment during a U.S. Coast Guard inspection in Boston Harbor on May 16, 2005, senior company officials in Hong Kong directed crew members to lie to the Coast Guard. Additionally, senior ship engineers ordered that documents be destroyed and concealed.


Ship’s Chief Engineer Convicted in Vessel Pollution Case

Mark Humphries, the chief engineer of the M/V Tanabata, an American-flagged car-carrier ship based in Baltimore, was convicted by a jury on one count of conspiracy and two counts of making false statements, announced Ronald J. Tenpas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. At trial, it was proven that the M/V Tanabata had a removable bypass pipe or “magic


Canada Fines Vessel Owner for Dumping Oil

Transport Minister David Collenette today announced that the federal government has successfully prosecuted the M/V Cala Palamos, a Cypriot-registered container vessel, owned by Nordpartner of Limassol, Cyprus and operated by Oldendorff K.E., based in Limassol, Cyprus, for the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) violation of unlawfully discharging an oily substance into Canadian waters. The pollution incident occurred while the vessel was berthed at Pier 36, in the Port of Halifax, on February 21


Bunker Convention to Enter Force in '08

Pollution damage from fuel oil carried on ships will be covered in 2008 with entry into force of international bunkers liability and compensation convention The last significant gap in the international regime for compensating victims of oil spills from ships is set to be closed, with the entry into force on 21 November 2008 of an international treaty covering liability and compensation for pollution damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers


Greek Operator Pleads Guilty

Pendulum Shipmanagement Inc., a ship management company, headquartered in Greece, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to charges that it conspired with members of the crew of the M/V Quantum, a commercial cargo ship, to defraud the United States by falsifying the vessel’s Oil Record Book, announced Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid. United States District Judge Berle M. Schiller immediately sentenced the company to a $1


Transas Installs Jordan VTS System

Transas Middle East instals & commissions standalone AIS solution at the Port of Aqaba, Jordan.   Transas standalone AIS solution incorporates the latest VTS technology and meets all international standards. At the core of the system is Transas AIS Base station T214, state-of-the art solution designed specifically for coastal surveillance, vessel traffic monitoring and ports management. Intended to cover Aqaba Port, its inner port waters, navigational channels and fairways


NASSCO Receives Environmental Award

National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has received an award from the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recognition of pollution prevention programs initiated by the shipyard during National Pollution Prevention Week in 2002. Edwin Lowry, Director of the California EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control, presented the award to NASSCO for implementing a wide- ranging program of activities targeted at improving


Vessel Charged with Illegal Discharge in Canadian Waters

Transport Minister David Collenette today announced that the federal government has successfully prosecuted the MV Cape Benat, a Liberian-registered chemical tanker, for spilling canola oil in Vancouver Harbour. The pollution incident occurred while the vessel was loading canola crude oil at Vanterm, in the Port of Vancouver, on November 23 and 24, 1999. The MV Cape Benat is owned by the Cape Benat Navigation Company of Liberia and operated by Columbia Ship Management of Cyprus


Maritime Pollution Prevention Act Signed into Law

President Bush has signed into law the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008 (H.R. 802). This law implements for the United States Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release discussing the new legislation.


Legislation to Protect Canada's Arctic Waters

To better protect Canadian Arctic waters from ship-source pollution, Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, announced that Bill C-3, an Act to amend the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, came into force on August 1, 2009. The amended Act also allows Canada to exercise greater control over these waters. "The passage of this legislative amendment is welcome news. Our government has taken action to protect the fragile marine environment in the North


Collision, Grounding and Anchor Draggings in Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with local response agencies and the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Tuesday after receiving a report of a collision between two ships in the Thimble Shoal Channel and are responding to several subsequent reports of ships dragging anchor in the lower Chesapeake Bay.


Update: Spill Response Continues in Miami

U.S. Coast Guard crewmembers are responding to a fuel spill in the vicinity of Government Cut in Miami Wednesday, following a leak discovered aboard the 95-foot tug Neptune Tuesday night. Upon further investigation, it has been determined that an estimated 2


Miami Tugboat Oil Spill: Coast Guard Respond

Oil spill containment: File image

The US Coast Guard says that its crewmembers are responding to a fuel spill in the vicinity of Government Cut in Miami, following a leak discovered aboard the 95-foot tugboat 'Neptune'. Upon further investigation, it has been determined that an estimated 2


Beijing's bid to move polluting firms adds pressure on nearby regions

China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters. Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province


Houston Ship Channel Collision: Tank Barge & Cargo Ship

Hull damage: Photo credit USCG

The cause of a collision between the cargo ship 'Genius Star VII' and a barge loaded with 840,000 gallons of #6 fuel oil in the Houston Ship Channel is being investigated by the US Coast Guard. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Texas City received a report at approximately 8:30 p.m


USCG Aids Grounded Boat Taking on Water

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said it assisted two boaters Monday by transferring them off a grounded boat approximately 200 yards from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Baltimore received notification at approximately 1 a.m


IMO’s MEPC Meets for 66h Session

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meets for its 66th session from 31 March to 4 April 2014, at IMO Headquarters in London. Items on the agenda include the consideration of proposed amendments to the MARPOL to make the audit


Varadkar Opens Killybegs Coast Guard Station

Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has today opened the newly-built Coast Guard Station in Killybegs which provides the voluntary crew with top-class accommodation and training facilities. It’s the third new Coast Guard building opened by Minister Varadkar


Total Lubmarine Celebrates Naming of Trafuco 7

Photo: Total Lubmarine

New barge operated with company’s biolubricants outlines commitment to environment and ship operators in Belgium Marine lubricant provider Total Lubmarine has welcomed the naming of the newest addition to its fleet, Trafuco 7. The naming ceremony for the newly-built vessel took place at


US EPA Serves ECA Suspected Violation Subpoenas

File photo

 U.S. EPA has served subpoenas in connection with the investigation into potential violations of MARPOL Annex and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) following the coming into force of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) on 1, August 2012.


Mobile Ship Channel Reopens Following Ship Grounding

The container ship MSC Kyoto heaves-to aground outside the Mobile Ship Channel, April 7, 2014. The MSC Kyoto reportedly experienced a steering failure. (USCG photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reopened the Mobile Ship Channel to all deep-draft commercial vessel traffic at approximately 5 p.m. Monday. The USCG restricted vessel traffic at about 3 a.m. Monday, after the container vessel MSC KYOTO grounded outside the channel.


Insights - Paul Hankins, President American Salvage Association

Paul Hankins.jpg

This month’s editorial calendar has, in part, as its focus, oil pollution, prevention and response. Or, in other words, missions and matters that cut to the very heart of the American Salvage Association (ASA) and the goals of its considerable membership


New Response Partner at Port of Long Beach

T&T Salvage, LLC announced the signing of a consent agreement with the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD). This agreement permits T&T to include the LBFD's extensive marine firefighting resources in its emergency response network. T&T's network


Mexico, US Seminar on Gulf of Mexico Spill Response

Individuals from each of the agencies represented at MEXUSGULF 2014, from Mexico and the United States, gather after concluding a seminar on oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico at the Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island, Texas, April 8, 2014. (USCG photo by Andrew Kendrick)

The U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy held a seminar Tuesday in South Padre Island, to update the MEXUSGULF plan for a future coordinated response to a spill in the Gulf of Mexico that would impact both countries. MEXUSGULF is a joint contingency plan between the United States and Mexico


GoM Drill Rig Damaged, Coast Guard Monitoring

ENSCO 8506: Photo courtesy of Keppel

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is overseeing response efforts, as the offshore drilling rig ENSCO 8506 began taking sea-water into a ballast tank after being hit by a large wave in heavy seas more than 100 miles south of Galveston. The ballast tank is located in one of the rig's column ballast


 
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