CORPORATION PLEADS GUILTY TO OIL POLLUTION VIOLATIONS
STANSHIPS, INC., headquartered in Athens, Greece, pled guilty today in federal court in New Orleans, Louisiana for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the Clean Water Act, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, STANSHIPS was charged in a bill of information with presenting a false Oil Record Book to the U. S. Coast Guard, and for discharging lubricating oil from the stern tube of the M/V Doric Glory into the navigable waters and contiguous zone of the United States and the Exclusive Economic Zone belonging to the United States in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the plea agreement, STANSHIPS will pay a $700,000 criminal penalty: a $525,000 fine and a separate $175,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Fund and earmarked for the purpose of funding habitat conservation, protection, restoration and management projects to benefit fish and wildlife resources and the habitats in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Further, STANSHIPS will also serve three years probation and as a condition of the probation, the company must be in compliance with all requirements of an Environmental Compliance Plan.
According to the factual basis, STANSHIPS admitted that from at least as of December 15, 2009, and continuing through May 14, 2010, the M/V Doric Glory’s oily water separator, a piece of equipment which is used to prevent oil pollution, was not operational. Approximately once a month during this time period, on the voyages between Jamaica and the United States, the engineering crews regularly discharged oil contaminated waste directly overboard.
STANSHIPS further admitted the engineering crews knowingly failed to maintain an accurate record regarding the illegal discharges of oil. Additionally, STANSHIPS admitted that the M/V Doric Glory had an oil leak in its stern tube, a problem known to the crew since at least the middle of April, 2010. The knowing discharge of a harmful quantity of oil from the M/V Doric Glory was not reported to the U. S. Coast Guard or National Response Center as is required, nor were the discharges recorded in the Oil Record Book.
This case was investigated criminally by the U. S. Coast Guard Criminal Investigative Services and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy Manning Taylor, and Senior Trial Attorney Richard Allen Udell with the Environmental Crimes Section, Department of Justice.
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