Greek shipping firm, Odysea Carriers, S.A., has been ordered to pay a $1.2 million fine and placed on probation for three years.
This sentencing comes after the company pleaded guilty in front of a New Orleans federal court to illegally dumping oily waste into ocean waters and covering it up. The charges surround an investigation into the M/V Polyneos, a bulk carrier the company owns, which docked at the Port of New Orleans on Oct. 12, 2011.
Court records indicate that engine room crewmen used a hose to pump the contents of the ship’s bilge tank, bilge oil tank and sludge tank directly overboard for at least four months. The chief engineer then covered up the discharges by falsifying the vessel’s oil record book and adding false entries indicating an incinerator was used to burn the oil waste and sludge in an attempt to hide the discharge from Coast Guard.
The fine includes a $100,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to be used in Louisiana. Odysea is also required to implement an Environmental Compliance Plan to ensure all of its ships comply with maritime environmental rules and that each employee is properly trained in preventing maritime pollution.
An independent observer will report on Odysea’s environmental compliance to the court during the three-year probation period.