US EPA Serves ECA Suspected Violation Subpoenas

MarineLink.com
Thursday, April 03, 2014
File photo

 U.S. EPA has served subpoenas in connection with the investigation into potential violations of MARPOL Annex and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) following the coming into force of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) on 1, August 2012.

Ships operating within 200 miles of the U.S. coast are required, pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), to burn low sulphur fuel oil and to document compliance. Although the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were authorized by APPS to investigate potential violations, it was unclear when such investigations might begin – especially in light of EPA interim guidance acknowledging that, despite best efforts, some ship owners and operators might not be able to obtain compliant low sulphur fuel oil before entering the North American ECA, and encouraging voluntary disclosure of such non-availability of compliant low sulphur fuel oil.

During the 18 months since the North American ECA came into effect, many ship owners and operators have filed Fuel Oil Non-Availability Reports (FONARs).  Although filing of FONARs was encouraged, the EPA advised that voluntary disclosure of an inability to comply with MARPOL Annex VI and APPS does not mean a ship is deemed to be in compliance.  Rather, voluntary disclosure of FONARs was to be only one factor considered by the U.S. when determining what action to take against a non-compliant ship owner or operator.

Recently, the EPA served substantial document subpoenas on several ship owners and operators that had previously filed numerous FONARs. These subpoenas have been served in connection with further investigations into potential MARPOL Annex VI and APPS violations.  APPS expressly authorises the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA, upon receipt of evidence of a potential violation like a FONAR, to issue subpoenas for documents and testimony.  Compliance with these subpoenas can be compelled by a federal court; non-compliance could lead to a fleet-wide denial or revocation of permission to enter U.S. waters.

Many ship owners and operators are already aware of the potential liabilities arising from MARPOL Annex VI and APPS violations.  The U.S could assess civil penalties, for example, up to $25,000 for each day of a continuing violation. If the investigation reveals a knowing violation, or if the respondent makes false or fraudulent representations to the investigators, then there may also be significant criminal liability. The potential for significant civil or criminal liability, and business disruption, is clear.

Sources: Chalos O’Connor, LLP/UK P&I Club

 

 

 

 

 

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

Legal

ITIC Measures against Ebola

The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued the following general advice related to the outbreak of Ebola. Vessels that have recently

ClassNK's Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems

Leading classification society ClassNK announced that it has released Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems. These guidelines cover class safety requirements

China, Vietnam Pledge Maritime Cooperation

China and Vietnam have agreed to "address and control" maritime disputes, state media said on Friday, as differences over the potentially energy-rich South China

Environmental

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

Hurricane Gonzalo Knocks out Bermuda Power

Power was knocked out to 80 percent of Bermuda's electricity grid due to Hurricane Gonzalo, the island's only power company, Bermuda Electric Light Co., said on Friday evening.

Can Oil & Gas Superpower Lead on Climate Change?

A day before President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations to declare the nation is "stepping up to the plate" to tackle climate change, nearly 400,000

Marine Power

USS Constitution Not to Set Sail Until 2018

The crew of USS Constitution embarked on their final Boston Harbor underway demonstration aboard Old Ironsides this year, Oct. 17. Constitution set out into

Swissco Extends Monohull Crewboat Fleet

Incat Crowther announced that Cheoy Lee has delivered a second pair of 36m Monohull Crewboats to Singapore-based operator Swissco Holdings. Swissco Spring and

GE Helps US Navy Improve Energy Efficiency

GE’s Power Conversion business was chosen by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to build a test system for a cleaner and more productive future in full

Government Update

India to Develop Iran's Chabahar Port

India will float a company to develop Iran's Chabahar Port, a government statement said on Saturday, as New Delhi aims to take advantage of a thaw in Tehran's relations with world powers.

Shadrin is D.G. of Gazprom Investholding

On October 13 the Gazprom leadership acceded to Alisher Usmanov's request for releasing him from his position as Director General of Gazprom Investholding. At the meeting Alexey Miller,

ITIC Measures against Ebola

The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued the following general advice related to the outbreak of Ebola. Vessels that have recently

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
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: 0.1510 sec (7 req/sec)