Coast Guard Officer Indicted for Vessel Pollution

Friday, August 10, 2007
David G. Williams, a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and the Main Propulsion Assistant for the Coast Guard Cutter RUSH, was indicted by a federal grand jury for obstructing the investigation into his authorization of the direct overboard discharge of bilge wastes through the deep sink into the Honolulu Harbor, announced Ronald J. Tenpas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment & Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Edward H. Kubo Jr.

Williams was charged with two counts: one count of obstruction of justice and one count of making a false statement. As the Main Propulsion Assistant, he oversaw the maintenance of the main diesel engines and other machinery in the engine room for the Coast Guard Cutter RUSH, a 378 ft. high endurance cutter stationed in Honolulu.

According to the indictment, on or about March 8, 2006, Williams authorized the direct discharge of bilge wastes into Honolulu Harbor. The Engineering Department personnel engaged in an unusual and abnormal operation and configuration of engine room equipment to pump bilge wastes from the aft bilge to the deep sink and overboard into Honolulu Harbor, thereby bypassing the “oily water separator” (OWS) system. The OWS system is a pollution prevention control device used by high endurance Coast Guard cutters like the RUSH to manage accumulations of bilge wastes while underway at sea. The OWS system collects, stores, and processes wastes to separate the water from the oil and other wastes. On or about March 13, 2006, the State of Hawaii Department of Health received an anonymous complaint stating that U.S. Coast Guard Cutter RUSH crew members were ordered to pump approximately 2,000 gallons of bilge waste into Honolulu Harbor. On May 1, 2006, investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received confirmation from Main Propulsion Division personnel who personally participated that bilge wastes had indeed been discharged through the deep sink and into Honolulu Harbor. CGIS investigators obtained various documents from the RUSH, including engineering and ship’s logs, tank level sounding sheets, and a pneumatic pump.

According to the indictment, when interviewed by investigators from the CGIS and EPA, Williams denied authorizing personnel to discharge bilge waste to the deep sink and stated that he was not aware of the pumping of bilge wastes to bypass the ship’s OWS system. The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted Williams could face 5 years in prison on each count. The government’s investigation was initiated by the CGIS and EPA. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Joseph A. Poux of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section, Ronald G. Johnson, chief of the Major Crimes Section; and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii William L. Shipley.

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

QinetiQ Signs Contract with ASV

QinetiQ, as part of a new Marine Surface Target Service, has signed a contract with Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) for the supply and operational support of autonomous surface target vessels.

GTT Wins DSME Order for 9 More Icebreaking LNGCs

Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), a designer of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), announced

Bollinger to Build 6 More FRCs for the USCG

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, Louisiana, announced the award of six additional USCG Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The U. S. Coast Guard

Legal

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears US Port Despite Concern in Washington

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is just two days away from arriving at a U.S. port, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington's

Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy). The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1277 sec (8 req/sec)