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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


BSEE Responds to Explosion in Gulf of Mexico

Location of Echo Platform

   The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responding to an explosion at West Delta 105 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans. The offshore oil and gas operator, Fieldwood Energy


Maersk to Introduce Low Sulphur Surcharge

Low Sulphur Surcharge

  To offset the additional cost incurred by switching to cleaner fuels in Emission Control Areas, as required by the new regulation, Maersk Line will introduce a new Low Sulphur Surcharge (LSS). The surcharge will be effective from 1 January 2015 and affect all cargo with load port


Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

Photo: IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized the measures for not going far enough to protect the Arctic and Antarctic environments


7 Rescued from Sinking Freighter Near Haiti

7 Saved from Sinking freighter

   Seven crewmembers were rescued after their 100-foot coastal freighter began taking on water and sank approximately 45 miles north off of Cap Haitien, Haiti, Friday.   Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District command center in Miami received a report from a tug stating


Northern Fleet’s Environmental Center in Arctic

Northern Fleet’s Environmental Center to appear in the Arctic

  The regional Environmental Center of the Northern Fleet will be established in the Arctic in the near future. The news agency TASS reported the news with reference to the Deputy Russian Defense Minister Army General Dmitry Bulgakov.


The Hydroptere Flies with Finesse

Photo courtesy of Finesse Solutions

The hydrofoil trimaran Hydroptere will try for another nautical record with support from biotechnology leader Finesse Solutions After a year resting in Long Beach, the Hydroptere returns to sailing. French and American sponsors are joined by a new partner: Finesse Solutions of Santa Clara


MEPC Approves Draft Polar Code

Photo: IMO

Draft Polar Code approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee A key step on the way to a mandatory Polar Code for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters has been reached with the approval by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International


Sunken Barge Salvage Stops Traffic on Chicago River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is restricting vessel traffic on the Chicago River to allow for salvage of a sunken barge. All cargo has been removed from the sunken barge in the Chicago River between the Lake and Randolph Street bridges and divers are currently in the water to conduct a survey of


Cruise Newbuilds Feature Seawater Lubrication

Thordon COMPAC seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings fitted to bronze carriers

The Viking Star, a47, 800GTcruise ship, is one of three Viking Ocean Cruises’ newbuilds to opt for Thordon COMPAC seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings. Constructed at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, the 944-passenger Viking Star is the first of three new ships equipped with


Bureau Veritas Launches New Notation for Underwater Noise

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Bureau Veritas has developed a voluntary notation intended to assist shipbuilders and operators reduce underwater noise radiating from ships. The comprehensive set of standards and measuring services is grouped as NR614 Underwater Radiated Noise (URN)


CMA CGM to Apply Low Sulfur Surcharge

Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM said it will implement a low sulfur surcharge on all its trades in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and for all cargos as of January 1, 2015. MARPOL Annex VI regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships assign Sulfur Oxides (SOx) Emission Control Areas (ECA) with more


WQIS President Hobbie to Retire

Richard Hobbie III (Photo: WQIS)

WQIS announces senior leadership change as president Richard Hobbie sets retirement Richard Hobbie III will retire from his position as President & CEO of the Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) after four decades as underwriter, claims manager and board member.


Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300% Since 1992

Global shipping routes crisscross the world’s oceans in this map of shipping lanes derived from a 2008 study of the human impact on marine ecosystems. (Credit: Grolltech)

Satellite data reveals major boost in shipping traffic Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased fourfold over the past 20 years, according to a strudy recently published by the American Geophysical Union which examined international ship traffic.


Crewman Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Justice in Pollution Case

Chief engineer of car-carrier vessel pleads guilty to obstruction of justice in marine oil pollution case The chief engineer of the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, to obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from


USCG, EPA Preparing for ECAs Enforcement

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon take action to ensure compliance with the forthcoming 0.10 percent fuel sulphur limits in the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emmission Control Areas (ECAs), the USCG’s Maritime Commons said.






 
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