Odysea Carriers, S.A., an Athens, Greece-based shipping firm to pay $1.2 million fine & placed on three years probation.
Odysea Carriers pleaded guilty recently before a federal court in New Orleans to illegally discharging oily waste into the ocean and comvering up the illegal actions.
The charges stem from an investigation into the actions of the M/V Polyneos, a 37,623 gross ton ocean-going bulk carrier owned by Odysea, which docked at the Port of New Orleans on Oct. 12, 2011. According to court records, engine room crew members used a hose to pump the contents of the ship's bilge tank, bilge oil tank and sludge tank directly overboard since at least June 8, 2011.
According to a U.S. Justice Department news release, the chief engineer of the Polyneos covered up the discharges by falsifying the vessel's oil record book, where all such discharges are supposed to be accurately recorded. The chief engineer also made false entries indicating an incinerator was used to burn the oil waste and sludge "with the intent to conceal from Coast Guard authorities that dumping had occurred."
The $1.2 million fine includes a $100,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,, which will be used in Louisiana. Odysea also is required to implement an Environmental Compliance Plan to ensure all of its ships comply with maritine environmental rules, and that the company's employees, including ship crews, are properly trained in preventing maritime pollution.
An independent monitor will report on Odysea's compliance with its environmental obligations to the court during the three-year probation period.