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

Legal

Greek Coastguard Rescues 2,500 over Three Days

Greece's coastguard has rescued about 2,500 migrants and refugees off the country's eastern islands over the past three days, authorities said on Monday, as the

CMA CGM-led Consortium Win Box Terminal Bid

The consortium formed by CMA CGM, Bolloré and CHEC won the bid process initiated by the Cameroonian government Following the bidding procedure initiated by the Cameroonian government,

BIMCO Outlines LIS Week Schedule

BIMCO’s breakfast brief, titled “The Future Of Maritime Security” is aimed at CEOs and Directors who will have an opportunity to hear more on the latest threats

Marine Propulsion

Hitachi Gas Supply System Order for MHI

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order from Hitachi Zosen Corporation for a high-pressure gas supply system enabling use of natural gas as fuel in marine engines.

Volvo Penta Debuts Marine Gas Sterndrive Engines

Volvo Penta today unveiled its new family of next-generation 5.3L V8 gasoline engines for the marine sterndrive market in a press preview at the company’s Test Center in Suffolk, Va.

Exhaust Gas Scrubber Guide Updated

An updated version of the “Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Selection Guide” is now available, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced today.   Developed

Environmental

Hurricane Fred Strengthens in Eastern Atlantic

Hurricane Fred strengthened early Monday in the eastern Atlantic as it approached the Cape Verde Islands, while the remnants of Tropical Storm Erika brought flooding to parts of South Carolina,

TOTE’s 2nd LNG Containership Launched

Shipping company TOTE and shipbuilder NASSCO on Saturday launched Perla del Caribe, the second of two Marlin Class ships – the first containerships in the world to be powered by natural gas.

HHI Orders Regasification Systems from Wärtsilä

South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has ordered two seawater/propane based regasification modules from Wärtsilä. The systems are to be installed

Marine Power

HMAS Canberra Initial Operational Capability

The Royal Australian Navy’s Amphibious Ship, HMAS Canberra, has completed a graduated operational test and trials program to achieve a key milestone towards Initial Operating Capability.

Hitachi Gas Supply System Order for MHI

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order from Hitachi Zosen Corporation for a high-pressure gas supply system enabling use of natural gas as fuel in marine engines.

Exhaust Gas Scrubber Guide Updated

An updated version of the “Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Selection Guide” is now available, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced today.   Developed

Government Update

Greek Coastguard Rescues 2,500 over Three Days

Greece's coastguard has rescued about 2,500 migrants and refugees off the country's eastern islands over the past three days, authorities said on Monday, as the

Ships' lifting Apparatus at Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports have informed that they reserves the right to refuse the use of ships' lifting apparatus without valid certification and / or if the apparatus

Australian Defence Unveils Indigenous Artwork

Defence today unveiled an Indigenous painting at its Science and Technology headquarters in Canberra as a mark of respect for cultural diversity within the organisation.

P&I Clubs

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Coast Guard Responds to Delaware River Grounding

The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage efforts Tuesday for a motor vessel aground on the Delaware River. The 328-foot Netherlands-flagged motor vessel, Bermuda Islander,

Maritime Tribunal Rejects Plea to Free Italy's Marines

An international maritime tribunal on Monday rejected Italy's request that India provisionally release two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, a setback

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.4595 sec (2 req/sec)