German Company Pays for Not Reporting Hazardos Conditions

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A German company has been sentenced to pay a $1 million fine and another $250,000 to support environmental causes after pleading guilty to two felony environmental charges related to a cargo ship that entered the Port of Long Beach last year with an open crack in its hull that may have caused oil to leak into the port.


The company – Herm. Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG – pleaded guilty yesterday morning and was sentenced immediately by United States District Judge George H. Wu. The company pleaded guilty to a felony count of failing to maintain accurate records relating to the overboard disposal of fuel oil and to a felony count of failing to report a hazardous condition aboard the M/V Bellavia to the United States Coast Guard.


This case was initiated after four members of the M/V Bellavia crew provided significant information to the United States Coast Guard, including pictures and videos of discharges from a fuel tank into the ocean. Using a federal law that allows a federal judge to award up to half of any criminal fine to “whistleblowers” who provide information concerning certain environmental crimes aboard vessels, Judge Wu ordered that the four crewmembers receive a total of $500,000 from the fine amount.


The M/V Bellavia is a 960-foot-long, Panamax-size ship that normally transports cargo between European, Central American and North American ports. In 2011, the M/V Bellavia sustained cracks in the ship’s hull while transiting through the Panama Canal. On an unknown number of occasions over the past three years, the hull cracks opened to such an extent that seawater could enter one of the ship’s fuel tanks. As a result of the damage, bunker fuel – a heavy, thick fuel oil – could have been released from the fuel tank into the sea.


Herm. Dauelsberg admitted that the M/V Bellavia hit the side of the Panama Canal again last September and sustained a crack that passed through the ship’s hull into a fuel tank. The company also admitted that, after sustaining the crack, the ship’s crew used one of the ship’s pumps to discharge nearly 120,000 gallons of oil-contaminated seawater from the ship’s fuel tank directly into the ocean. That discharge was not done using the ship’s oil-water separator, which is supposed to be used to filter oil out of water that is pumped overboard. The ship’s crew then failed to properly record the discharge in the ship’s records and did not disclose it to the Coast Guard, both of which are required by federal law, when the ship arrived in the Port of Long Beach in October 2013. In addition, the company admitted that it failed to notify the Coast Guard about the hazardous condition aboard the M/V Bellavia, namely, the crack that passed through the ship’s hull into the fuel tank.


After accepting the guilty pleas, Judge Wu sentenced the company to the statutory maximum fine of $1 million and ordered the company to make an additional community service payment of $250,000 to the Channel Islands Natural Resources Protection Fund, which is administered by the National Park Foundation. The community service payment will be used to fund environmental projects, enforcement efforts, and initiatives designed for the enforcement of environmental and public safety regulations.


This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Port of London Bridge Simulator Upgraded

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has invested £250,000 to upgrade its ship’s bridge simulator, adding a full tug bridge simulator in a move that is set to enable

US Leaders Work toward Supply Chain Innovation

The Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) Supply Chain Innovation Team Initiative, led by Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye, was launched today at FMC headquarters in Washington, D.

Hueneme Port Expands Ship Pollution Reduction Program

The Port of Hueneme launched the second phase of its Grid-Connected Shore Power System, celebrating another next step forward in reducing air emissions and minimizing environmental impact.

Environmental

Oil Spill in Schuylkill River

The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding Tuesday to an oil sheen in the Schuylkill River.   The Coast Guard received a report of a sheen on the

Crowley Acquires Ace Fuels Assets in Anchorage

Anchorage-based Crowley Fuels yesterday completed an asset acquisition of the aviation fuels business of Ace Fuels, LLC, a fixed base operator (FBO) headquartered

Hueneme Port Expands Ship Pollution Reduction Program

The Port of Hueneme launched the second phase of its Grid-Connected Shore Power System, celebrating another next step forward in reducing air emissions and minimizing environmental impact.

Energy

Keppel Acquires LeTourneau

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine USA, Inc., has completed the acquisition of Cameron International

TOTE LNG Bunker Barge : Crew Training Program

GTT subsidiaries, GTT North America, Inc. and GTT Training Ltd, announce the award of the first contract of its kind for the development and implementation of a

MacGregor Launches Compact Pusnes RamWindlass

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, continues to add to its market-leading Pusnes product range and its latest introduction is a Pusnes RamWindlass. The new windlass is

Maritime Security

Pirates Switch to Kidnapping Crew as Oil Fetches Less

Pirate gangs in West Africa are switching to kidnapping sailors and demanding ransom rather than stealing oil cargoes as low oil prices have made crude harder to sell and less profitable,

American Waterways Operators Elects Chairman

The members of the American Waterways Operators, the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, elected a new slate of leaders

113 Migrants Drown in Libya-Italy Weekend Transits

An estimated 113 people died in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy at the weekend as the crossing becomes the preferred sea route for migrants to Europe, the

News

US Coast Guard to Unveil Historic Lifeboat

A ceremony unveiling a historic lifeboat as a new static display in Chatham, Mass. is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Station Chatham.   The

Crane Upgrade for Jack-up Vessel Sea Installer

Major modification work will bring A2SEA-owned vessel into line with growing demands of offshore wind industry   Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion,

Oil Spill in Schuylkill River

The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding Tuesday to an oil sheen in the Schuylkill River.   The Coast Guard received a report of a sheen on the

Coast Guard

US Coast Guard to Unveil Historic Lifeboat

A ceremony unveiling a historic lifeboat as a new static display in Chatham, Mass. is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Station Chatham.   The

Oil Spill in Schuylkill River

The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding Tuesday to an oil sheen in the Schuylkill River.   The Coast Guard received a report of a sheen on the

113 Migrants Drown in Libya-Italy Weekend Transits

An estimated 113 people died in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy at the weekend as the crossing becomes the preferred sea route for migrants to Europe, the

Vessels

US Coast Guard to Unveil Historic Lifeboat

A ceremony unveiling a historic lifeboat as a new static display in Chatham, Mass. is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Station Chatham.   The

Crane Upgrade for Jack-up Vessel Sea Installer

Major modification work will bring A2SEA-owned vessel into line with growing demands of offshore wind industry   Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion,

Baltic Index Down for Third Straight Session

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Tuesday for the third straight session, as demand for bigger vessels weakened.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1103 sec (9 req/sec)