German shipping company MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH was charged for failing to maintain an accurate ship record about the disposal of oil-contaminated waste water and presenting falsified records to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the US Department of Justice.
The indictment and documents filed in a US court show that, from February 2015 through October 2015, the M/V Cornelia, a bulk carrier operated by MST, experienced significant leakages of oily waste water and was therefore accumulating a substantial volume of machinery space bilge water.
“On at least ten occasions during the indicted period, the M/V Cornelia’s Chief Engineer and/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…and then discharge the oily waste-water overboard,” the US Attorney’s Office said.
At least one such dumping “occurred in approximately May 2015 while the ship was in the Great Lakes.”
On each of these occasions the Chief Engineer failed to record the transfers and subsequent discharges of oily waste-water in the M/V Cornelia’s Oil Record Book (ORB), the justice department said.
When the vessel called upon the US Port of Duluth in November 2015, USCG inspectors boarded the ship to conduct an examination and were presented with the M/V Cornelia’s ORB containing the omissions and false entries.