A Greek ship management company will pay a $2.7 million fine and a $100,000 community service payment after pleading guilty to violations of two environmental and one vessel safety law in federal court in New Orleans.
Polembros Shipping Ltd. entered the plea after Coast Guard inspectors found the violations aboard the M/V Theotokos on Oct. 1, 2008.
The court also imposed a three-year probation that included the unusual condition that all vessels under Polembros management are barred from entering U.S. ports or territorial waters.
According to the Department of Justice, the ship failed to maintain proper oil and ballast water records, dumped oily bilge water overboard, and failed to alert the Coast Guard to a vessel hazard – a crack in the ship’s rudder stem.
The plea on the ballast water charge marks the first conviction under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act, the Coast Guard said.
The company also violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by dumping oily waste water overboard after the ship’s oil-water separator broke down.
Polembros is due for sentencing on Dec. 9. The ship’s master, chief officer and chief engineer pleaded guilty to related charges in July. Their sentencing is slated for Oct. 1 and Oct. 14.
The company made its community service payment to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
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