A federal judge has ordered a Turkish shipping company to pay a $725,000 fine for failing to report illegal oil discharges through a “magic pipe” onboard a contracted tanker vessel. U.S. v. Aksay Denizcilik Ve Ticaret A.S., No. 10-116 (M.D. Fla. plea agreement 05/21/10). The company pleaded guilty to one count of failing to maintain an oil record book. In addition to the fine, the court sentenced the company to three years of probation and ordered the company to participate in an environmental compliance plan.
The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships requires the ship’s crew to record accurately in an oil record book each transfer or disposal of oily wastewater and sludge. The enforcement action resulted from a March 2009 boarding and inspection of the bulk chemical tanker Kevim at the port of Tampa, where inspectors discovered a magic pipe used to bypass the ship’s oil pollution-prevention equipment. See DOJ Press Release, May 25, 2010.