Singaporean shipping company Hai Soon Ship Management was sentenced to pay a fine of USD 1 million and serve a two-year term of probation related to water pollution.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, District of Hawaii, the company received the sentence for charges stemming from its the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and false statements concerning the illegal dumping of oil contaminated bilge water at sea.
The company pleaded guilty to the charges on June 14, 2018. Pursuant to its plea agreement, Hai Soon Ship Management’s vessels operating in U.S. waters will be required to comply with a comprehensive environmental compliance plan that provides for regular inspections under the supervision of an independent auditor.
According to court documents and information presented in court, the company’s 3,878 gross ton oil tank vessel Hai Soon 39 provided refueling services to fishing vessels operating at sea. In October of 2017, the Chief Engineer of the Hai Soon 39, along with other engine room staff, constructed a hose in the engine room to bypass the ship’s pollution prevention equipment, including its oil water separator, and pump oily waste directly overboard.
The resultant discharges were never recorded in the ship’s oil record book, as required by APPS, and the Chief Engineer made false entries in the oil record book to make it appear that the discharges had been routed through the oil water separator when in fact they had not.
As part of its sentence, Hai Soon Ship Management will be placed on a two-year term of probation that includes the environmental compliance plan to ensure, among other things, that all of the ships the company operates that come to the United States fully comply with all applicable marine environmental protection requirements established by national and international laws.