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Increased Penalties for Pollution Offences

AMSA issues Marine Notice 19/2011 The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice advising that penalties have been increased for pollution offenses. For example, the maximum penalties for strict liability offenses for illegal discharge of oil, oil residues, or oily mixtures have been increased from 500 to 20,000 penalty units (currently $2.2 million for an individual; $11 million for a corporation)For more details, click here.Source: AMSA

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Perverting course of justice charges laid against Rena officers

Maximum penalty of $10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months Further charges have been laid today by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) against the Master and Second Officer of the cargo vessel Rena.The men, whose names and identities are suppressed, have been charged under S117(e) & 66 of the Crimes Act, which allege they "wilfully attempted to pervert the course of justice" by altering ship's documents subsequent to the grounding on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on 5 October.The master faces four charges under the Act, and the Second Officer (Navigation) three charges.Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.Both men already each face one charge under section 338 (1B) and (15B) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) relating to the "discharge of harmful substances from ships or offshore installations".The RMA charge carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $300,000, or two years' imprisonment, and $10,000 for every day the offending continues.They also both face one charge each under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA), "for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk".The MTA charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of ...

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Greek Shipping Company Convicted for Intentional Cover-Up of Oil Pollution

$2 million criminal penalty Ilios Shipping Company S.A., pleaded guilty in federal court in New Orleans for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno and U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.Ilios operated the M/V Agios Emilianos, a 738 foot, 36,573 ton bulk carrier cargo ship that hauled grain from New Orleans to various ports around the world. According to the plea agreement, from April 2009 until April 2011, oily bilge waste and sludge was routinely discharged from the vessel directly into the sea without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. During that time, the crew intentionally covered up the illegal discharges of oil waste by falsifying the vessel's oil record book.The master of the vessel, Valentino Mislang, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice for his role in destroying evidence and instructing crewmembers to lie to the Coast Guard during an inspection of the vessel in April 2011. According to Mislang, a senior manager of Ilios directed the destruction of computer records and ordered Mislang to tell crewmembers to lie to the Coast Guard.The chief engineer of the vessel, Romulo Esperas, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to ...

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Cameron Intl reaches agreement with BP on oil spill

Agreed to pay $250 million to BP for claims re the Deepwater Horizon incident Cameron International Corp said BP Plc had agreed to indemnify the company for current and future compensatory claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident.As part of the deal, Cameron said it had agreed to pay $250 million to BP.Cameron said the company's insurers are expected to fund not less than $170 million of this agreement and both parties have agreed to mutually release claims against each other.Cameron expects to take a charge in the fourth quarter for any amounts not covered by insurance.Source: Reuters

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DOJ asks court to deny Transocean move on oil spill costs

Court to deny Transocean Ltd's request to protect itself against civil penalties The U.S. Justice Department has asked a district court to deny offshore oil drilling contractor Transocean Ltd's request to protect itself against civil penalties stemming from last year's record oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.In November, Transocean said in a court filing that BP must indemnify it for damages arising from what it called BP's failure to contain the flow from its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, regardless of who was negligent or else at fault.Transocean had requested the court to issue a "partial summary judgement" in its favor.In a filing with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Transocean's motion seeks to resolve issues that must be analyzed based on evidence yet to be presented."At trial, the U.S. respectfully believes it will establish that Transocean's acts and omissions in this case amounted to willful misconduct that obviates the indemnity," DOJ said in the filing.The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig's April 20, 2010 explosion caused 11 deaths and led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.Transocean owned the rig, while BP owned a majority of the ...

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Tanker Owners Prosecuted For Pollution In Solent

The fine and costs amount to a total of 95,000 At a hearing today at Southampton Magistrates Court, the owners of a tanker were found guilty under UK maritime pollution legislation. The fine and costs amounted to a total of 95,000. Overnight on the 10th and 11th January 2011, yellow waxy balls of an unknown material washed ashore on the beaches of East and West Wittering. Samples were collected by the Environment Agency for analysis.The Maritime and Coastguard Agency received information of problems onboard a Panamanian registered tanker called Pretty Time. The vessel was boarded and inspected by MCA Port State Control Inspectors on the 25th January 2011. The inspection showed there had been problems in the handling of a previous cargo of Palm Oil. Small yellow waxy balls of material were seen scattered about the deck.Samples of the cargoes were taken and sent for testing by the Environment Agency. Also taken were copies of the ship's logs and documentation.A backtrack analysis showed that the Palm Oil that washed up on the beaches of the Solent on the 10/11th January 2011 originated from the Outer Nab Anchorage at a time when the Pretty Time logs showed tank cleaning was in ...

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Gulf Oil Spill: BP Faces More Citations

Federal regulators in October cited BP PLC for seven violations The Obama administration says BP and two other companies are likely to face new citations for alleged safety and environmental violations stemming from last year's Gulf oil spill.Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, says the upcoming notices stem from reviews that go beyond a federal government probe of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blast, which killed 11 workers and resulted in the nation's worst offshore oil spill.Federal regulators in October cited BP PLC for seven violations, and contractors Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton for four violations apiece, stemming from the Gulf spill.Bromwich said Monday that new notices of violation could be sent within two weeks. Bromwich steps down Thursday after 17 months as head of the offshore drilling agency.Source: Huffington Post

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Chevron Oil Spill: Brazil Official Sees $28 Million Fine For Company

Chevron could face "five or six" other fines of the same amount if more infractions are found Brazil's environmental agency said Monday it will fine Chevron nearly $28 million for a continuing oil spill off the Rio de Janeiro coast, and the company could face several more similar fines in the coming days.The agency said through its press office that it will fine the oil company the maximum 50 million reals allowed under current Brazilian law.Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said at a press conference in Brasilia, however, that as an investigation into the leak continues, Chevron could face "five or six" other fines of the same amount if more infractions are found.Rio de Janeiro state's environment secretary, Carlos Minc, said the national government will also ask Chevron to pay for damages caused by the Atlantic spill."We believe the accident could've been avoided. There was an environmental crime," Minc told Globo TV and other Brazilian media. "They hid information and their emergency team took almost 10 days to start acting."Teixeira and other officials said Chevron hid information about the extent of the spill from the Brazilian government, took far too long to begin clean-up operations and didn't have the proper equipment ...

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Australia lifts oil spill fines to $11 million

Maximum fines for ships that spill oil from $1 million to $11 million Australia has increased maximum fines for ships that spill oil from $1 million to $11 million (US $11 million) in response to a Chinese coal carrier grounding on the Great Barrier Reef.Parliament passed new laws late Monday for the discharge of oil or oil residue by ships in Australian waters. Shipping companies will also have to contribute to cleanup costs.The change follows last year's grounding on the world's largest chain of coral reefs by the Shen Neng 1, which spilled nearly 3 tons of fuel oil. The ship's officers were fined about $50,000.Source: AP

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Sea Star Line indicted for price fixing on coastal services

Also Agrees to Pay $14.2 Million Criminal Fine Sea Star Line LLC has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $14.2 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the coastal water freight transportation industry, the Department of Justice announced. Additionally, a federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, returned an indictment against Frank Peake, the former president of Sea Star Line, for his role in the same conspiracy.According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Sea Star Line, whose principal place of business is in Jacksonville, Fla., engaged in a conspiracy to fix rates and surcharges for water transportation of freight between the continental United States and Puerto Rico from as early as May 2002, until at least April 2008. According to a one-count indictment filed today in the same district, Peake participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as late 2005, until at least April 2008.Sea Star Line transports a variety of cargo shipments, such as heavy equipment, perishable food items, medicines and consumer goods, on scheduled ocean voyages between the continental United States and Puerto Rico.According to the ...

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