United States District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi accepted the guilty plea of Doorae Shipping Co., LTD, a South Korean maritime operations company, and sentenced the company to pay a fine of $275,000, and a term of three years of probation for the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
According to the Information to which Doorae pled guilty, the operation of a marine vessel, such as the B. Pacific, a petroleum oil tank ship registered under the flag administration of the Marshall Islands, and operated by Doorae, generates large quantities of waste oil and oil-contaminated wastewater. International and U.S. law requires that these vessels use pollution prevention equipment to preclude the discharge of these materials. U.S. law requires that the movement and transfer of oil on board a ship be accurately documented in the ship’s Oil Record Book.
Tanker B. Pacific - Image courtesy: Doorae Shipping
Information produced to the court established that from between July 8, 2016, through July 14, 2016, during a Port State Control examination conducted by the United States Coast Guard, employees of Doorae Shipping presented the B. Pacific’s Oil Record Book to representatives of the United States Coast Guard knowing that it failed to document or acknowledge that approximately 5,400 gallons of oil contaminated bilge water had been placed into and stored in an unapproved void space neither designated nor appropriate for the storage of oil and other ship generated liquids. In addition, the Oil Record Book also failed to document the location of approximately 8,400 gallons of machinery space oil contaminated bilge water.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said “It is unacceptable for a maritime company which was convicted and sentenced to pay $950,000 in fines and penalties four months ago for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to commit another criminal violation of the Act. This failure to properly follow the law with respect to maintaining an accurate and truthful Oil Record Book requires another conviction and sentence commensurate with Doorae’s conduct. By this prosecution and today’s sentence, we demonstrate our continuing resolve to keep our ocean environment clean, and the commercial tanker ships which port in Honolulu accountable.”
Doorae pled guilty and was sentenced to paying a $750,000 fine and making a $200,000 community service payment in April 2016.
“Environmental crimes are a serious threat to the health of our oceans,” said Capt. Mike Long, Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Honolulu.
“The Coast Guard is dedicated to enforcing all U.S. laws and international requirements to prevent marine pollution in Hawaii and all U.S. waters. This case sends a clear message that violators will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service.