According to the US Department of Justice, d’Amico, Italian shipping company, is called to pay $4 million for Concealment of pollution from one of its vessels. In the meantime, the shipping company will be placed on probation for four years after violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships in the US.
Specifically, the U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito and Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark announced that
A shipping company based in Italy today admitted discharging oily waste and other pollutants into the sea and then lying about it.
The company pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging it with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
Consequently, under terms of the plea agreement, d’Amico will pay a $4 million penalty and be placed on probation for four years.
During probation, the company will be subject to the terms of an environmental compliance program that requires outside audits by an independent company and oversight by a court-appointed monitor.
The company admitted the following in a detailed joint factual statement filed in Court:
- From August 2014 through January 2015, the M/T Cielo di Milano used two different methods to illegally dispose of oily waste, both of which involved discharging it from the vessel’s sewage holding tank into the sea.
- Some of the discharges took place within the exclusive economic zone, that is, within 200 nautical miles of the United States.
- Two different chief engineers were involved in the illegal discharges and the intentional falsification of the Oil Record Book to cover up those discharges.
- One chief engineer falsified the Oil Record Book to state that bilge water had been processed through the vessel’s pollution control equipment when, in fact, it had not.
- The crew routinely hid equipment used to conduct the discharges when the vessel entered port.
- During a Coast Guard inspection of the vessel in Bayonne, New Jersey, in January 2015, the chief engineer and second engineer lied to inspectors and told lower-level crew members to lie as well.
- After the Coast Guard departed the vessel, the chief engineer destroyed a notebook containing tank soundings by burning the pages in the vessel’s boiler flame in order to conceal the notebook from the Coast Guard.
Concluding, the court decided that the proposed $4 million penalty includes $1 million in organizational community service payments to restore the coastal environment of New Jersey. The plea agreement directs funds to environmental projects that will be selected by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support the cleanup of marine pollution, preservation of aquatic life, and restoration of the shorelines around Newark Bay.
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