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 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

NZ's Lyttelton Port Recommends Offer, to Pay Special Dividend

The board of New Zealand's  Lyttelton Port Co. Ltd recommended minority shareholders accept an offer of NZ$3.95 a share offer from the commercial arm of the Christchurch city council.

NYK Opens New Planning Center in Kumamoto

On September 1, 2014, NYK and Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc. established a stowage planning center for container shipping at the Kumamoto office of Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc.

Indian Investigators Drop Case Against Billionaire Birla

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has closed a coal scam case against billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla and a former top bureaucrat that emerged in

Marine Propulsion

Wärtsilä Reshuffles Two Top Managers

The following appointments have been made in the management inform Wärtsilä Corporation: Mr Rakesh Sarin (59), B.Sc. (Eng.), has been appointed President of Power Plants,

MHI, IHI & DBJ Join Forces On Investments

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), IHI Corporation and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) concluded a three-way formal agreement today on their respective

Voith Schneider Propellers Drive Double-ended Ferry MS Frisia IV

Ferries operated by Norden-Frisia AG have been serving the East Frisian island of Norderney for many decades. Navigation in these coastal waters poses special

Environmental

Fortum Buys Stake in Wave Power Startup

Finland's top utility, state-controlled Fortum, on Monday said it has acquired a 14 percent stake in Finnish wave energy developer Wello. Wello has developed

Cavernous Swiss Power Plant Undermined by Renewable Energy

Deep in a Swiss mountain, workers have blasted out a cathedral-sized hole for a power plant that will help keep Europe's lights on, but the profit outlook for the 1.

China's National Carbon Market to Start in 2016

China plans to roll out its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, an official said Sunday, adding that the government is close to finalising rules

Marine Power

RIMPAC Exercise Puts LCS Through Paces

It was the middle of May, and the littoral combat ship Independence was operating out of San Diego, testing components of the mine warfare mission package. The mission is one that,

Wärtsilä Reshuffles Two Top Managers

The following appointments have been made in the management inform Wärtsilä Corporation: Mr Rakesh Sarin (59), B.Sc. (Eng.), has been appointed President of Power Plants,

MHI, IHI & DBJ Join Forces On Investments

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), IHI Corporation and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) concluded a three-way formal agreement today on their respective

Government Update

FTA Approves WSF Ferry Terminal Plans

In the latest Washington State Ferries Weekly Update, Capt. George A. Capacci, Interim Assistant Secretary WSDOT/Ferries Division briefs as follows: "FTA approves

DoD Award Dredging, Ship Maintenance, Charter Contracts

US Department of Defense informs of placement of contracts for Chesapeake Bay dredging, dry-docking of USS Pearl Harbor, and charter of surface escort vessels. Details as follows: 1.

Indian Investigators Drop Case Against Billionaire Birla

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has closed a coal scam case against billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla and a former top bureaucrat that emerged in

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair 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: 0.1611 sec (6 req/sec)