Shipping Company Sentenced to Pay Penalty for Pollution Cover-Up

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Puerto Rican-based Shipping Company Sentenced to Pay $700,000 Penalty for Intentional Cover-Up of Oil Pollution.

 

WASHINGTON – Epps Shipping Company, a Liberian corporation doing business out of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was sentenced in federal court for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and making false statements to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno and United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez.

The company was sentenced to pay a $700,000 criminal penalty to include a $100,000 payment towards community service projects to rehabilitate and protect coral reefs in Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico.   In addition, the company was placed on five years of supervised probation and will have to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan to continuously monitor and evaluate pollution prevention from any ship it owns or operates.

“This sentence puts the international shipping industry on notice that there are serious consequences for violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and making false statements to the United States Coast Guard,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.   “For its criminal violations of the law, Epps will pay a significant criminal penalty, serve five years of probation, institute an environmental compliance plan designed to prevent further violations, and will be subject to independent monitoring.   Epps also will fund projects to protect coral reefs in Puerto Rico.”
        
Epps Shipping Company owned and controlled the M/V Carib Vision, a commercial ship that was engaged in the transportation of molasses throughout the Caribbean region.   On Nov. 6, 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection of the vessel in the port of San Juan, P.R.  The Coast Guard learned from inspecting the engine room and interviewing crewmembers that the vessel’s Oil Water Separator and other pollution prevention equipment was inoperable and could not be used to treat the vessel’s oily waste prior to it being discharged overboard. The investigation revealed that prior to Nov. 6, 2010, the crew of the vessel used the emergency bilge discharge system to dump its oily waste directly overboard without first processing it through the ship’s pollution prevention equipment as required.  All overboard discharges of oil or oily bilge wastewater are required to be recorded in the vessel’s Oil Record Book.   None of these discharges were recorded in the Oil Record Book for the M/V Carib Vision.

“Today's sentence demonstrates the United States' steadfast commitment to safeguarding the marine environment,” said Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, Coast Guard Seventh District Commander. “We applaud the efforts of the many environmentally responsible companies, but will hold non-compliant corporations and their officers accountable for violating environmental laws.    Coast Guard Sector San Juan investigators and the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) did a great job investigating and preparing this case.   I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Department of Justice for bringing this case to a proper resolution.”

During the period of probation, Epps Shipping Company will be required to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) which will ensure that any ship owned or operated by Epps complies with all maritime environmental requirements established under applicable international, flag state, and port state laws.   The ECP ensures that Epps’ employees and the crew of any vessel owned or operated by Epps are properly trained in preventing maritime pollution. An independent monitor will report to the court about Epps’ compliance with its obligations during the period of probation.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard.   The case was prosecuted by Marshal Morgan in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Puerto Rico and by Ken Nelson in the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

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

People & Company News

Norwegian to Buy Prestige Cruises in $3b Deal

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.O) said it would buy Prestige Cruises International Inc from its owner Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) in a $3 billion

Evergreen Upgrades its Intra-Asia Service Network

Evergreen Line announced it will partner with Mariana Express in launching a joint South China- East Malaysia (SEM) Service. The new initiative will give a boost

Bureau Veritas Diversifies with MatthewsDaniel Acquisition

Bureau Veritas announced today that it has acquired MatthewsDaniel Ltd, a global provider of loss adjusting and risk assessment services for the offshore industry.

Environmental

Ballast Water Leadership

Admiral Paul Zukunft, the new U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, could fill the BWT leadership void. Global efforts to combat the spread of invasive species in ballast

BSEE Conducts Oil Spill Response Equipment Review

Earlier this week, BSEE's Oil Spill Response Division (OSRD) conducted an onsite review of oil spill response equipment listed in DCOR, LLC's Oil Spill Response Plan for platforms offshore Long Beach,

Polar Code Afoot

The IMO is on the verge of adopting the Polar Code, something that is important and long overdue. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations,

News

Norwegian to Buy Prestige Cruises in $3b Deal

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.O) said it would buy Prestige Cruises International Inc from its owner Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) in a $3 billion

Vard Orders Parat Electric Steam & Hot Water Boilers

During the last month, PARAT Halvorsen AS has collected four new boiler plant orders from the Vard Group and their multipurpose platform ships of Vard 1 08 design.

N-KOM Lays Keel for Qatar’s First Liftboat

Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) has achieved another milestone with the keel laying of its first liftboat newbuild project, awarded in July 2014 by long-time

Government Update

Polar Code Afoot

The IMO is on the verge of adopting the Polar Code, something that is important and long overdue. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations,

Algeria in Talks to Export Crude to Venezuela

Algeria is in talks to export crude oil to fellow OPEC member Venezuela, Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said on Tuesday, confirming a Reuters report. Last week,

Joe Barton: Lift Oil Export Ban

A senior U.S. Congressman from Texas has come out in full support of the United States lifting the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports, putting him at odds with

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.4251 sec (2 req/sec)