Archive for the ‘EMS / Compliance Program’ Category

Italian Ship Owner and Chief Engineer Sentenced in Alabama for Crimes Related to Illegal Discharges from Cargo Ship Company Sentenced to Pay $1.3 Million Criminal Penalty

A shipping company headquartered in Italy and the chief engineer of one of its ships were sentenced today in federal court in Mobile, Ala., for deliberately falsifying records to conceal discharges of oily wastewater from the ship directly into the sea. The shipping company  was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Ginny Granade in the Southern District of Alabama to pay a $1 million criminal fine, serve four years of probation, and make a $300,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company must also fund and implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan during the term of probation. Chief Engineer  was sentenced by Judge Granade to one month in jail.

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Adoption of Voluntary Environmental Compliance Program (VECP)

ECM  has recently completed an ECP-related seminar entitled “MARPOL compliance and the U.S. & E.U perspective : Investigate, Criminalize & Prosecute” at Rome in partnership with P.L. Ferrari & Co., with inputs from the UK Club and Chalos, O’Connor and Duffy, LLP and Azimuth Srl.

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s Environmental Crimes Voluntary Disclosure Policy: Incentive for Compliance

On November 14, 2007, the United States Coast Guard issued its Environmental Crimes Voluntary Disclosure Policy (the “Policy”). The Policy, patterned on the existing policies of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Environmental Protection Agency, may provide companies a mechanism to potentially avoid prosecution by establishing a dynamic “compliance management system” and fostering a proactive atmosphere of discovery and reporting of noncompliances.

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): Guilty Plea and Fine in Pollution Case

U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall and Oregon Attorney General John Kroger jointly announced that the owner and operator of a Cyprus-based vessel pleaded guilty today to felony oil pollution charges. The Company was pleaded guilty to one count each of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and knowingly making false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard. As part of the plea agreement, the companies agreed to pay a $750,000 fine. Half of the fine – $375,000 – will go to the Oregon Governor’s Fund for the Environment, which is dedicated to local environmental cleanup and restoration efforts focused on preserving and protecting Oregon’s rivers, watersheds, and fish and wildlife.

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Sentences in US for Marpol Violations

Other sentences were issued in the last four months in US due to Marpol Violations.

A Chief Engineer  was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for obstructing a Coast Guard inspection that took place in May 2010 aboard a Liberian-operated cargo ship at the Port of Baltimore. In a related case, the ship-owner and operator of the vessel previously pleaded guilty to obstructing a Coast Guard examination and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. The company was sentenced in February 2011 to pay a $2.4 million fine, and to serve three years probation, subject to an environmental compliance plan that includes audits by an independent third party auditor.

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