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

Legal

Egypt Eyes Suez Container Port Renegotiation

Egypt is trying to renegotiate an extension of an agreement worth $1.5 billion with Suez Canal Container Terminal which has a concession to run a port near the entrance to the canal,

China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea

China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South

Maersk Drilling gets Extension for Jack-Up

Maersk Drilling, is a unit in shipping and oil conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk. Hess has exercised the four one-well options included in the current contract for the jack-up rig Maersk Resolute.

Marine Propulsion

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

MacGregor's Hatlapa Brand is 95 Today

November 2014 marks the 95th anniversary of MacGregor's Hatlapa brand. Since its foundation in 1919 by German engineer Max Hatlapa, the formerly independent Uetersen-based

Pair of ASD Tugboats Delivered to Keppel-Smit

The ASD tugs KST Passion and KST Pride were were delivered to their owner, Keppel-Smit Towage Pte. Ltd of Singapore in October 2014. The two vessels are the first

Environmental

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

Marine Power

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

Pair of ASD Tugboats Delivered to Keppel-Smit

The ASD tugs KST Passion and KST Pride were were delivered to their owner, Keppel-Smit Towage Pte. Ltd of Singapore in October 2014. The two vessels are the first

Shell Launches Naturelle Stern Tube Fluid

Shell has launched its new range of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs), including Shell Naturelle S4 Stern Tube Fluid 100.   The Shell Naturelle range

Government Update

Egypt Eyes Suez Container Port Renegotiation

Egypt is trying to renegotiate an extension of an agreement worth $1.5 billion with Suez Canal Container Terminal which has a concession to run a port near the entrance to the canal,

China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea

China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South

India Seeks Private Cash for Intermodal Bridge

Rail system needs more tracks and wagons; Not enough coal gets from port to power stations. India is targeting up to $1 billion of private investment by 2017

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
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: 0.2610 sec (4 req/sec)