Shipping company fined $2 million for concealing unlawful discharges of oily water into Atlantic Ocean

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Posted at 2:34 PM, Oct 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-03 14:34:39-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A Cyprus-based shipping company was sentenced to pay a fine of $2 million after pleading guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

According to court documents, the company, Diana Wilhelmsen Management Limited (DWM), operates several commercial vessels. From mid-April 2020 until before the vessel arrived in Newport News on June 10, 2020, crew members aboard the M/V Protefs knowingly failed to record overboard discharge of oily bilge water in the vessel's oil record book.

Court documents say that the crew used the vessel's emergency de-watering system to illegally discharge the oily water directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

The vessel also arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 1, 2020 with a knowingly false oil record book.

The chief engineer, Vener Dailisan, 47, pleaded guilty on December 18, 2020 to making a false statement to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors about the existence of a sounding log, which is routinely sought by inspectors in order to ascertain the accuracy of the oil record book.

“We are firmly committed to enforcing federal environmental laws and will not tolerate conduct that pollutes our water, imperils natural ecosystems, and endangers our wildlife,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As this case demonstrates, those who contaminate our most precious natural resources by illegally dumping hazardous waste into the ocean will be held accountable, especially when they falsify their records to avoid detection.”

DWM received a term of four years of probation, a fine of $2 million and supervision under an environmental compliance plan.