The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday fined Piraeus based vessel operator Navimax Corporation $2,000,000 and placed the company on probation for four years for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and obstructing a Coast Guard investigation.
Court documents and statements pointed out Navimax operating the 750-foot long oil tanker Nave Cielo during the offence.
Prior to a formal inspection on December 7, 2017 the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel near Delaware City when a crewmember gave the officers a thumb drive containing two videos depicting a high-volume discharge of dark brown and black oil waste from a five-inch pipe, located 15-feet above water level.
Subsequent investigation during a more comprehensive inspection on December 7, 2017 disclosed that the approximately 10-minute discharge occurred on November 2, 2017 in international waters after the ship left New Orleans en route to Belgium.
During the Coast Guard boarding on December 7, 2017, crewmembers presented the ship’s Oil Record Book, which did not record this discharge.
“The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships helps protect the precious ocean and marine resources of the United States from harmful pollution, and those who knowingly violate this law will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“The Department of Justice will continue to work with the Coast Guard and our other law enforcement partners to ensure that individuals and corporations alike comply with the nation’s environmental laws.”
“The defendant violated environmental laws that protect our marine environment from harmful pollution,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss.
“The conviction and criminal fine, reinforced by a four-year term of probation, during which the defendant’s fleet of ships will be monitored, ensures that defendant is held accountable. The message to the shipping industry is clear: environmental crimes at sea will not be tolerated.”
“I am exceptionally pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Captain Scott Anderson, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay.
“Personnel at Sector Delaware Bay, Marine Safety Detachment Lewes, DE, the Coast Guard Investigative Service Philadelphia Office, and legal staffs dedicated countless hours conducting an extensive and detailed investigation and processing the case. Outcomes like this help protect the environment by holding operators accountable for their actions.”
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Justice
Published: 14 December, 2018
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