According to the Department of Justice, in the timeframe of April 2017 to August 2018, senior members of the vessel’s engineering team oversaw and participated in the bypass of the ship’s Oil Water Separator utilizing a yellow plastic hose, referred to as a magic pipe.
Meanwhile, the ship’s Chief Engineer made a series of fake entries and key omissions in the Oil Record Book in order to conceal the illegal overboard discharges of oily bilge water.
Yet, on August 14, 2018, the oil record book was provided to the USCG during an inspection in the port of Charleston.
In light of these events, Portline has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1.5 million when the company is sentenced at a future date. The company would also be placed on organizational probation for four years, which includes an environmental compliance plan.
Moreover, on June 17, 2019, the ship’s former Chief Engineer Anatoli Zotsenko and Second Engineer Valerii Pastushenko, who had previously pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, were sentenced to fines totaling $12,500 and three years’ probation.
The probation term includes a special condition that bans Zotsenko and Pastushenko from entering ports and anchorages of the United States.
Concluding, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division commented
The world’s oceans are not a dumping ground for criminals who seek to evade our nation’s environmental laws.