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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Us District Court News

Wilhelmsen Drops Acquisition of Drew Marine

Image: Wilhelmsen

A US District Court for the District of Columbia announced that it will grant the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) motion for an injunction to block Wilhelmsen’s acquisition of Drew Marine Technical Services.Consequently, Wilhelmsen and Drew have agreed to abandon the transaction.“We disagree with the views of the US competition authorities. This would have been an important strategic investment for our group, which we believe would have meant better services and better prices for our customer.

UASC Sues World Fuel Services

Image: MARORKA

Dubai-based shipowner United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has filed suit against Miami-based marine fuels provider World Fuels Services (WFS) seeking relief from damages incurred through the bunkering of off-spec fuel oil in 2016, reports Arabian Industry.UASC is seeking relief from damages incurred through the bunkering of the off-spec fuel oil, according to the suit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on 27 June, 2018.The Middle East shipping giant claims that on or about 21 September 2016…

Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges

Credit: and paid for by Sea-Machines

Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline and about 330,000 gallons of heavy fuel, devastating beaches, wildlife and habitat.

Offshore Fracking: Accord Reached to stop offshore fracking in California

A conservation group said the federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in California's Santa Barbara Channel under the settlement of a lawsuit it filed. The group, the Center for Biological Diversity, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, had challenged what it said was the U.S. Department of the Interior's practice of rubber-stamping fracking off California's coast without engaging the public or analyzing fracking's threats to ocean ecosystems, coastal communities and marine life. The settlement reached on Friday prohibits officials from authorizing fracking practices in federal waters until the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement complete an environmental review…

Royal Caribbean Faces Lawsuits over Storm-battered Cruise Ship

Anthem of the Seas (File photo: Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.)

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd faces at least two lawsuits by passengers accusing the company of negligently endangering their lives by letting its Anthem of the Seas cruise ship sail into a fierce Atlantic storm this month. The lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court in Miami claim that Royal Caribbean knew, or should have known, that a coastal storm carrying hurricane-force winds had been forecast before the ship set sail from Cape Liberty, New Jersey on Feb. 6 for a scheduled seven-night cruise to the Bahamas.

Fishing Vessel Captain Pleads Guilty to Pollution Charges

A captain of the fishing vessel (F/V) Native Sun pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle for discharging oily-waste directly into the ocean in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the federal conspiracy statute. Randall Fox pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Lasnik of the Western District of Washington to two criminal felony counts for violating APPS’ prohibition against discharging oily-wastes, namely machinery-space bilge water, directly into the ocean. According to court documents, Randall Fox and other coconspirators repeatedly discharged the oil-contaminated bilge water into the ocean using unapproved submersible pumps and hoses.

BP Escapes US Lawsuits Over Post-Gulf Spill Drilling Ban

BP Plc does not have to face U.S. lawsuits by energy and drilling companies over losses they suffered from an offshore drilling ban imposed soon after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans agreed with BP that federal law absolved the British oil company from liability for the Obama administration's decision to halt drilling and impose a moratorium on permits for new wells. The decision issued late on Thursday removes one of BP's last legal overhangs from the April 20, 2010 blowout of its Macondo well and the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, a disaster that killed 11 workers. BP has incurred $55.5 billion of costs for the spill, according to a March 4 regulatory filing by the company.

Fishing Vessel Owner, Captain Face Environmental Charges

The owner and captain of the commercial F/V Native Sun, were indicted Thursday for conspiracy, as well as violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). According to the indictment, starting in 2011 and continuing into 2013, Bingham and Randall Fox discharged and caused other crewmembers to illegally discharge oil and other pollutants into waters of the United States, coastal waters near Blaine, Wash., and the open ocean where the ship operated. The discharge of oil and other bilge wastes are regulated by the CWA and APPS to protect the nation's waterways, port and ocean water quality. The discharge of oils and other pollutants in waters of the United States is prohibited absent a CWA permit.

EPA Paves Way for Stalled Mine in Alaska

U.S. environmental regulators have cleared the path for a stalled copper and gold mine in Alaska by agreeing to settle current lawsuits and other issues over the project, which had drawn environmental concerns over its potential impact on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. U.S. The Pebble Limited Partnership mining company had filed a lawsuit against the EPA under the previous administration of Democratic president Barack Obama, which had sought to block it. Backers of the project had been hopeful that Obama's Republican successor, Donald Trump would allow it to proceed. Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd , which owns the massive Pebble deposit, have surged since Trump won the U.S. election back in November. Trump took office Jan. 20.

Current and Former WWL Execs Accused of Price Fixing

Photo: WWL

Two former and one current executive of the shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) have been indicted on charges of fixing the prices of some international ocean shipping, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday. Former executives Arild Iversen and Anders Boman were indicted in November 2016 along with current executive Kai Kraass, the department said. The indictment was unsealed on Tuesday. Iversen is a former WWL chief executive, Boman was head of the Asian business for WWL and Kraass was Head of Commercial, Region Europe, according to the complaint filed with the U.S.

EIG names Odebrecht, shipyards in Petrobras suit

Investment management firm EIG Management Co added Brazil's engineering conglomerate Odebrecht SA and a few other shipyards in its $221 million fraud suit against Petroleo Brasileiro SA. EIG, in a filing on Wednesday, alleged that Odebrecht SA and other shipyards along with Petrobras misled the firm to invest over $221 million to purchase equity in now-bankrupt Sete Brasil Participacoes SA. The other shipyards mentioned in the filing by EIG and eight of its managed funds include Keppel Corporation Ltd, Sembcorp Marine Ltd and Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd. "Through a series of misrepresentations and omissions directed at EIG, Petrobras fraudulently…

Shipwreck Recovery to Commence in August

Photo: Endurance Exploration Group, Inc.

Florida-based Swordfish Partners and Deep Blue Exploration have contracted Blue Water Ventures International to recover potentially valuable artifacts and coins from a shipwreck site off the coast of North Carolina the parties believe to be the 1838 sinking of the steam paddle wheeler, Pulaski. Endurance discovered the site of the loss and the shipwreck is currently subject of a Swordfish Partners admiralty claim in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa.

Seaway Stakeholders File Suit Against US Coast Guard

A bulk carrier alongside the pier (File photo: FedNav)

A coalition of U.S. Great Lakes ports, vessel operating companies and maritime trade associations today filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2016 increase in Great Lakes pilotage rates, the American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) announced. The complaint was filed by a coalition including the AGLPA, along with the Shipping Federation of Canada and the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association, as well as vessel operating companies Fednav International Ltd…

Former MSC Contractor Sentenced for Bribery Conspiracy

A former owner of a government contracting company that serviced the Military Sealift Command (MSC) was sentenced to 60 months in prison, and to pay a $15,000 fine, for his participation in a bribery conspiracy from approximately 1999 to 2014, in which he provided a contracting official at MSC with almost $3 million in bribes. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen sentenced Joseph P. Allen, 56, of Panama City, Fla., following his guilty plea on April 19, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

US Agents Move against Illegal Timber Imports from Amazon

U.S. agents searched the offices of a California-based wood importer this week as part of a broadening government crackdown on imports of illegally harvested timber, according to a previously unreported federal search warrant seen by Reuters. The Department of Homeland Security agents are probing whether privately held Global Plywood & Lumber Inc violated U.S. and Peruvian law by importing wood that officials say was taken from the Amazon without proper permits, according to the warrant filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego on Monday and executed on Tuesday. No charges have been brought against the company. A Homeland Security spokesman in Houston said the investigation was ongoing.

US Navy Admiral to Plead Guilty in Bribery Case

Robert Gilbeau (Photo: U.S. Navy)

A U.S. Navy rear admiral will plead guilty on Thursday to lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case, the Washington Post reported, citing his attorney. Robert Gilbeau, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, the Post reported, citing court records. This would bring to 14 the number of people charged in the Singapore-based case…

U.S. Navy Admiral Pleads Guilty to Bribery

A U.S. Navy rear admiral pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case. Robert Gilbeau, 55, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, appeared in U.S. District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer and a fluffy white dog he said helped him monitor his health. Prosecutors said Gilbeau lied when he told investigators that he had not accepted gifts from Leonard Glenn Francis, whose contracts to clean, stock and maintain U.S. Pacific Fleet ships are at the center of the $30 million bribery case. "He lied to federal investigators to conceal his illicit years-long relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis," Assistant U.S.

Greek Ship Owner, Operator Prosecuted in Pollution Case

Pictured is the 735-foot bulk carrier Gallia Graeca while anchored near Lighthouse Park in Vancouver, Canada, Jan. 13, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The companies that own and operate a Greek shipping vessel and two engineers from the ship were convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of 12 felony counts related to their dumping of oily waste at sea, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. The ship operator, Angelakos Hellas S.A., the ship owner, Gallia Graeca Shipping LTD, the chief engineer, Konstantinos Chrysovergis and the second engineer, Tryfon Angelou were found guilty of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships…

SBM Offshore to Pay $238 Mln in US Bribery Case

SBM Offshore NV, a Netherlands-based maker of offshore oil drilling equipment, and its U.S. subsidiary, SBM Offshore USA Inc, agreed to settle criminal charges of bribing officials in five countries and pay a $238 million penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The companies agreed to settle charges related to schemes lasting more than a decade involving bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a statement. SBM Offshore USA pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the statement said.

Washington State Sued for Blocking Coal Exports to Asia

© Unkas Photo / Adobe Stock

A company that planned to build a coal export terminal in the Pacific Northwest to ship western U.S. coal to Asian markets sued the state of Washington on Wednesday for blocking construction last year. Lighthouse Resources Inc filed a lawsuit in federal court against Washington Governor Jay Inslee and two state regulators for allegedly violating the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by denying permits to allow the company to ship coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states through its proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal to clients in Japan and South Korea.

#BTC100 History — May 1917

Photo Courtesy of Bouchard Transportation Co.

Bouchard Transportation Co. began as a “True American Story,” when its founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, formed the company with an award in the form of a $9,000 check he received from U.S. District Court. The award, which was given to Capt. Fred for personal bravery and rescue efforts during the infamous Black Tom Explosion, was also in part for his ability to salvage the 4,000-ton Brazilian steamer Tijoca Rio and the schooner George E. Elezy, of Bath, Maine. It was with this money that he founded Bouchard Transportation Co.…

Tuna Vessel Operator Convicted on Pollution Charges

An American tuna fishing company that regularly unloaded its catch in American Samoa, was convicted and sentenced today for discharging oil into the South Pacific and for maintaining false records, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. The company, Pacific Breeze Fisheries LLC, owned the Fishing Vessel F/V Pacific Breeze, a tuna purse seiner that was responsible for the pollution. Pacific Breeze Fisheries admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal dumping of oily bilge water into the waters off American Samoa without the use of required pollution prevention equipment.

Fishing Companies to Pay $400,000 for Pollution Claims

Challenge Fisheries LLC, Quinn Fisheries Inc., Charles Quinn II, and Charles Quinn III have agreed to pay a total of $414,000 in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide improvements and other compliance assurance measures to resolve federal Clean Water Act claims stemming from oily bilge discharges from the commercial fishing vessel Challenge, and a related fuel oil discharge in August 2017 in New Bedford Harbor, Mass., the Department of Justice and the Coast Guard announced.In its complaint filed Monday, along with the lodging of a consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States alleges…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2018 - The Shipyard Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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