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 March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Feds Delay LNG’s Port Ambrose Application

The US Coast Guard and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have temporarily suspended their review of the proposed Port Ambrose deep-water LNG import terminal.

Ukraine Arrests Turkish Ship for Visiting Crimean Port

Turkey owned merchant ship flying the flag of Tuvalu was arrested by Ukrainian authorities over a visit it made to a port in Crimea, reports Reuters. The ship's captain detained.

Viking Bags Charter Deal for AHTS Brage Viking

Viking Supply Ships has entered into a contract with an Oil major for the charter of “Brage Viking” commencing 1stof April 2015. The duration is for 2 years and 8 months firm,

Environmental

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season

Chile Desert Rains Sign of Climate Change

The heavy rainfall that battered Chile's usually arid north this week happened because of climate change, a senior meteorologist said, as the region gradually

Mexico Unveils National Strategy ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Mexico on Friday said it will cap its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, becoming one of the first countries to formally submit its national climate plan the

Marine Power

Schmiedag and Wildauer Schmiedewerke: 'We Forge Partnerships'

Olaf Wiertz, Sales Director at Schmiedag GmbH (SDG) and Wildauer Schmiedewerke GmbH & Co. KG (WSW) said: “We are more than just a supplier to our customers – we are their partner.

Rolls-Royce Propulsion for Polar Research Vessel

Rolls-Royce informs it has been awarded a contract by shipbuilder Fincantieri to supply a fully integrated propulsion system for Norway’s new Polar Research Vessel,

Indonesia Partners with China on Maritime

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged increased maritime cooperation during the formers visit to China.   The joint

Government Update

Mexico Unveils National Strategy ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Mexico on Friday said it will cap its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, becoming one of the first countries to formally submit its national climate plan the

Mediterranean Rescue Operations Strain Shipping

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday describing how the increasing number of seaborne migrants making the journey from Africa to Europe has not only

Port of Aden Under Threat with Enemy at the Gates

As Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies stage air strikes against Shi'ite Muslim militiamen threatening to topple Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the southern

P&I Clubs

Swedish Club Reports 'Healthy Growth'

The Swedish Club reported a solid operating result to its board today, continuing a record of building on steady growth. 2014 was seen as a stable year, where the

Steady Growth Reported by the Swedish Club

The Swedish Club reported a solid operating result to its board today, continuing a record of building on steady growth. 2014 was seen as a stable year, where

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.3137 sec (3 req/sec)