Sabine Transportation Sentenced for Illegal Ocean Dump

Friday, August 13, 2004
Thomas L. Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Charles W. Larson, Sr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, announced that an Iowa-based shipping company that transported grain cargoes and petroleum products in the United States and abroad was sentenced to pay $2 million for illegally dumping thousands of gallons of waste oil, hundreds of tons of diesel-contaminated grain, and plastic wastes at sea.

Sabine Transportation Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, admitted it deliberately dumped waste oil, sludge, and oily mixtures from the S/S Trinity, the S/S Juneau, the S/S Sea Princess, and the S/S Colorado without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. The deliberate discharges were then concealed in false Oil Record Books, required logs in which all overboard discharges must be accurately recorded and which are regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Sabine also admitted that, on a significant number of other occasions, the company falsified Oil Record Books and deliberately dumped oily wastes from other vessels in its fleet.

The government learned about the illegal dumping aboard Sabine ships from crew members who served aboard the S/S Trinity and the S/S Juneau. Two S/S Trinity crew members told the U.S. Coast Guard about the illegal dumping of thousands of gallons of contaminated diesel fuel when the vessel arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, in June 1998. A S/S Juneau crew member advised the Coast Guard in Portland, Oregon, in March 1999 that hundreds of tons of diesel-contaminated wheat had been dumped into the ocean. The resulting nation-wide investigation revealed that illegal dumping occurred with frequency aboard a number of the vessels operated by Sabine.

At sentencing, prosecutors informed the court that the whistleblowers risked their careers with Sabine and within the industry by coming forward, and they qualified for a statutory reward.

Today, U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett ordered Sabine Transportation Company to pay a $2 million fine and serve three years probation. Judge Bennett also awarded a total of $1 million of the fine to the three former Sabine crew members who reported the crimes to the government. The reward, granted under a provision that allows a court to award up to one-half of a criminal fine to those providing information leading to conviction, is the second award of $1 million dollars or more issued to crew member whistle blowers within the past week.

“This case should send a message that polluting our environment and lying to the government will not be tolerated,” said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Last year, Sabine also pled guilty in the Eastern District of Louisiana to a violation of the Clean Water Act based on the dumping of hundreds of tons of rust scale, tank cleaning wastes, and other oily wastes into the Mississippi River during a tank cleaning operation.

The prosecution is part of a longstanding initiative by the Department of Justice, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA, to detect and deter crimes related to deliberate pollution caused by ships.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of EPA’s Region VII Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Rosneft, Gazprom to Receive Four Arctic Fields

Ministry of the Environment sent to the government documents on the transfer of "Rosneft" and "Gazprom" licenses for the development of four more fields on the Arctic shelf,

Virginia-Class Submarine Named USS Iowa

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony today in Ames, Iowa to announce that SSN 797, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Iowa.

Belfast Harbour Goes Live With KleinPort

Saab has commissioned its first Port Management Information System in the UK. As of September 1st, 2015, Belfast Harbour Commission commenced live operations with its KleinPort system.

Environmental

U.S. Coast Guard Responds to Collision Near Paducah

On-scene assessment teams have reported the maximum estimated potential clarified slurry oil released from the tug collision is now 250,000 gallons, Thursday. The

Occurrence of Humpback Whales at Franz Josef Land Recorded

Scientists first documented occurrence of humpback whales near the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Experts attribute this to the successful development of their populations.

China Ready with ECAs

China has taken 'important step' in tackling ship-generated emissions. China is also developing Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in its major ports.   China's Ministry

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.5955 sec (2 req/sec)