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Press Release

German Shipping Company Charged with Covering Up Illegal Dumping of Oily Waste Water Into Great Lakes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced an indictment charging MST MINERALIEN SCHIFFAHRT SPEDITION UND TRANSPORT GMBH (“MST”), a German company and operator of the M/V Cornelia, with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) by failing to maintain an accurate ship record about the disposal of oil-contaminated waste. The defendant is also charged with presenting falsified records to the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, from February 2015 through October 2015, the M/V Cornelia, a German-owned commercial vessel, experienced significant leakages of oily waste-water. As a result, the M/V Cornelia was accumulating a substantial volume of machinery space bilge water.

On at least ten occasions during the indicted period, the M/V Cornelia’s Chief Engineer and/or Second Engineer instructed members of the engine room crew to transfer machinery space bilge water from the dirty bilge tank to the clean bilge tank, which is a separate tank that is supposed to contain only clean, oil-free water, and then discharge the oily waste-water overboard. At least one occasion when machinery space bilge water was transferred to the clean bilge tank and then discharged overboard occurred in approximately May 2015 while the ship was in the Great Lakes.

On each occasion in which oily waste-water was transferred internally and then discharged overboard, the Chief Engineer intentionally failed to record the transfers and subsequent discharges of oily waste-water in the M/V Cornelia’s Oil Record Book (ORB).  This gave the false impression in the ORB that all of the oily waste-water had been properly handled and disposed.

On November 3, 2015, the M/V Cornelia called upon the Port of Duluth to load grain for transport to Africa. At that time, U.S. Coast Guard inspectors boarded the vessel to conduct a Port State Control examination and were presented with the M/V Cornelia’s ORB containing the omissions and false entries.

The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin F. Langner and John Kokkinen.

Defendant Information:

Schnaittenbach, Germany


  • Violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution From Ships, 1 count
  • False Entries/Omissions in Records in a Federal Investigation, 8 counts
Updated May 11, 2016