$200,000 Community Service Payment For Hawaii Reef Projects Received
HONOLULU -- United States Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni (center in attached picture); Rear Adm. Vincent Atkins, Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District (far left); Resident Agent-in-Charge Donna Kahakui of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal enforcement program (second from right), and Special Agent Eric Goldberg of the Coast Guard Investigative Service (far right) delivered a $200,000 check to Scott Hall, Director of Seabird Conservation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (holding check), representing the community service payment of Doorae Shipping Co., LTD, on Friday, July 1 at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The payment was part of the sentence Doorae received after pleading guilty in April 2016 to failing to maintain an accurate oil record book, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and making false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard concerning the discharge of oil contaminated bilge water.
According to court documents, the operation of a marine vessel, such as the B. Sky, an oil tanker ship flagged out of Vanuatu and operated by Doorae, generates large quantities of waste oil and oil-contaminated waste water. International and U.S. law requires that these vessels use pollution prevention equipment to preclude the discharge of these materials. Should any overboard discharges occur, they must be recorded in an oil record book, a log that is inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Information produced to the court established that instead of running bilge water through an oil water separator, the B. Sky discharged over 500 gallons of oily machinery space bilge water directly into the ocean and failed to record the discharge in their oil record book as required by law.
United States District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi approved the payment of the $200,000 community service payment, per an agreement between the government and Doorae, to be donated to the National Fish and Wildlife Service Foundation to fund projects that preserve and enhance coral reefs and reef ecosystems in Hawaii. Judge Kobayashi also imposed a $750,000 fine on Doorae as part of the sentence.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said "Community service can be a means through which a corporate defendant addresses the results of its criminal activity. This payment represents a significant community service contribution as part of the sentence in this case."
"Maritime pollution is a serious threat to the health of the world's oceans. Annually, Coast Guard pollution investigators respond to 210 cases here in the Hawaiian Islands, diligently striving to help keep our waters pristine and healthy," said Rear Adm. Atkins. "In this case, Coast Guard and EPA investigators built a strong case package against a blatant polluter, helping the U.S. Attorney's Office successfully prosecute this case. Importantly, the nearly $1 million paid by Doorae included $200,000 for environmental restoration in our waters."
The case was investigated by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the EPA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson.