Huge fine! The shipowner was fined US$12 million by the U.S. Federal Court for violating pollution discharge regulations
Singapore-based shipping company Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL) was fined US$12 million for concealing illegal discharge of oily sewage and garbage.
On December 1, the company was accused of violating the Ship Pollution Prevention Act, obstructing justice, and failing to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of dangerous situations in the Federal Court of North Carolina.
PCL pleaded guilty to eight felony counts in three jurisdictions (Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern District of Texas, and Eastern District of Louisiana).
The court issued a four-year probation for the company and ordered the implementation of a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Program as a special condition for probation.
The company pleaded guilty that its ship "Pac Antares" failed to record oil bilge water and oil waste discharged overboard in the ship's oil record book in April and September 2019.
When the ship arrived in Morehead, North Carolina, on September 29, 2019, a crew member on board informed Customs and Border Protection officials of the illegal discharge of Pac Antares. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection and found and collected a large amount of evidence.
PCL acknowledged the fact that the oil bilge water and oil waste discharged overboard in April and September 2019 were not recorded in the ship's oil record book. It was also found that the oily waste had been discharged through the washing tank, which was then discharged directly outside the ship or discharged through the ship’s sewage treatment system. The sewage system is contaminated with oil.
In addition, the company also admitted that the crew of the ship discharged oily garbage and plastic overboard and forged garbage records.
In addition, the vessel was found to be used to store oily waste in a large space along the keel of the hull. According to the US Ports and Waterways Safety Act, this is a dangerous practice and should be reported immediately. To the U.S. Coast Guard.
The chief engineer of the ship, Wenguang Ye, was accused of falsifying the oil record book, and was fined $5,500 and was barred from entering the United States within one year.
Pac Antares was charged with another prosecution in 2008, claiming that the ship had concealed its discharge of oil bilge water overboard. At that time, PCL was fined 2.1 million yuan.