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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


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


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


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


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


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


EMSA Oil Recovery Vessel Contracts Signed

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has finalized contracts to strengthen its pollution response coverage in the Atlantic and Mediterranean areas. UK ship owner James Fisher Everard will provide a pollution response arrangement based on a pool of three vessels normally trading between the UK and Ireland. Spanish company Mureloil will provide a pool of two vessels which operate in southern Spain. Maltese ship owner Tankship Management will add a vessel to the


USCG Operation Clean River

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., conducted Operation Clean River, a large-scale operation to ensure environmental compliance onboard commercial deep draft vessels, Wednesday, Jan. 19. Clean River covered both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in an effort to examine all vessels that were currently moored or anchored from Portland downriver to Longview, Wash. Specifically, the Coast Guard’s Port State Control Branch verified vessel compliance with both international and


Third Crewmember Pleads Guilty

A Greek citizen who oversaw the engineering department on board a Dominica-flagged bulk cargo ship pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in New Orleans for violating environmental laws designed to prevent pollution from ships and making false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Justice Department announced. Georgios Stamou, the chief engineer of the M/V Theotokos, pleaded guilty to one felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one felony violation for making


Massive cargo ship runs aground in US

Photo courtesy of Burlington City Police Department

 A 33,044-ton cargo ship ran aground Wednesday in the Delaware River near the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.   According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a 600-foot bulk carrier, Agia Irini, was headed southbound when it reportedly lost propulsion and ran


Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Delaware River (Link to Video)

  Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay is investigating a ship aground in the Delaware River near the Burlington Bristol Bridge, which connects Burlington, NJ and Bristol Township, PA.   The Liberian-flagged 600-foot bulk carrier, Agia Irini


Donjon-SMIT Relocating to Houston

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Alexandria, VA- Donjon-SMIT, the unique provider of Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) services established by Donjon Marine Co., Inc. and SMIT Salvage Americas, Inc. will be moving its company headquarters from Alexandria, VA to Houston, TX


EALs & Oil Spill Remediation

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EALs & Oil Spill Remediation: The Effects of EALs on Oil Spill and Discharge Reporting and Remediation In the wake of increased environmental scrutiny and potentially expanding liability issues, oil spill remediation continues to be of great interest to marine operations


Moskito to Recover Oil from Sunken Wrecks

The Moskito name comes from the fact that it is designed to work much like the annoying insect. Moskito is delivered to the outside of the (sunken ship’s) tank where it penetrates its skin and inserts its proboscis so that the liquid inside can sucked out.

  A tool for removing oil in submerged vessels was developed in Norway by Miko Marine. Moskito is designed to address the pollution threat that exists with the large numbers of sunken ships around the world that still contain significant quantities of oil in their tanks as cargo or bunker


First ShipArrestor Delivered

The ShipArrestor container is lifted by the helicopter.

Following a full product trial in New Zealand, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) signed its acceptance of the first of two ShipArrestor systems from Miko Marine, making Norway the first country with a system that gives it the ability to protect its shores from the danger of drifting oil


EPA: MTU Must Audit Emissions Testing

MTU America Inc., a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, will implement an auditing program to ensure proper emissions testing and compliance with federal emission standards for its heavy-duty diesel non-road engines as part of a settlement to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations, the U


Ship Salvage in the Presence of WWII Era Torpedo & Mines

What began as a typical grounding response quickly turned into anything but when the initial dive survey turned up a World War II era torpedo and unexploded mines around the vessel.

T&T Salvage continues to support shipowners with prompt, safe and cost-effective solutions to complex salvage, wreck removal, and anti-pollution challenges.  A comprehensive management team, with an average of 26 years in the industry


Detained Vessels Released in Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard marine safety personnel detain, release two vessels in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, after deficiencies detected   The Captain of the Port, Western Alaska, detained and released two vessels in February and March, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.  


Heavy Fuel Oil Spill at Port of Long Beach

Approximately 33 gallons of heavy fuel oil was spilled during bunkering operations at an anchorage inside the Port of Long Beach Saturday morning, The U.S. Coast Guard reported.   The U.S. Coast Guard, state of California, and response crews are responding


Hong Kong's Clean Fuel Rules May Cost Shippinglines

Image: The Port of Hong Kong

 The bill requiring ocean going ships to switch to low sulfur fuel while at berth in Hong Kong could effectively raise the cost of shipping containers through the city.   Under the new Hong Kong Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation


Ocean Conservancy and NAMEPA Partner to Fight Marine Debris

  NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) and the Ocean Conservancy signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this month, the two group announced in a press release.   The agreement aims to foster a collaborative effort that encourages marine pollution


USCG Responds to Grounded Ferry near Ocracoke Inlet, NC

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The Coast Guard responded to a ferry that ran aground Saturday approximately one mile south of Ocracoke, North Carolina. The captain of the Silver Lake, a 220-foot passenger and vehicle ferry, contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders via mobile phone at approximately 5 p.m


Hong Kong Introduces Clean Fuel Rules

Photo: Alex Sergienko

New regulation to require oceangoing vessels to switch to clean fuel while at berth   The Government of Hong Kong’s Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation, which mandates oceangoing vessels (OGV) to use clean fuels while berthing in Hong Kong for


Huffman Joins Blank Rome in Houston

Jay T. Huffman (Photo: Blank Rome)

Blank Rome LLP announced that Jay T. Huffman has joined the Firm as an associate in the Maritime, International Trade, and Public Contracts group. He is based in the Firm’s Houston office.    Huffman joins Blank Rome from Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P






 
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