Million Dollar Fine for Oily Water Discharges in Great Lakes
The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the owners of the general cargo ship Cornelia to pay $1 million for failing to maintain accurate records of waste disposal.
MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition Und Transport, a German company and operator of the Cornelia, pleaded guilty last week.
According to the company’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from February 2015 through October 2015, the Cornelia experienced significant leakages of oily waste-water and was accumulating a substantial volume of machinery space bilge water.
On at least ten occasions, the Cornelia’s Chief Engineer or Second Engineer instructed members of the engine room crew to transfer machinery space bilge water from the dirty bilge tank to the clean bilge tank, which is a separate tank that is supposed to contain only clean, oil-free water, and then discharge the oily waste-water overboard. At least one discharge in the Great Lakes. The Cornelia’s Oil Record Book did not accurately reflect the situation.
MST is required to pay an $800,000 criminal fine and make an addition community service payment of $200,000 to support the protection and preservation of Lake Superior and the Lake Superior watershed.
MST will also serve three years of probation and must fund and implement an Environmental Compliance Plan for all vessels that it operates which call at ports in the United States.