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Monday, April 21 2014 @ 03:04 AM EDT

Shipping co. fined $4 million for illegal dumping

Panama Flagged VesselsA Panama-based shipping company will pay $4 million for illegally dumping 6,000 gallons of oil-contaminated sludge and bilge waste in December 2009 during the voyage from Gibraltar to Baltimore, officials said. Irika Shipping S.A., a ship management corporation, pleaded guilty Thursday to concealing the dumping from the M/V Iorana, a Greek-flagged cargo ship that made stops in Baltimore, Tacoma, Wash., and New Orleans, according to the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Crews used a bypass hose to avoid pollution prevention equipment required by law, court documents state. As a result of the penalty, Maryland will receive $750,000 to be used for Chesapeake Bay projects, officials said. In addition to the fine, Irika Shipping will be placed on probation for up to five years, and be subject to the terms of an Enhanced Environmental Compliance Program, the plea agreement said. In January, a crew member passed a note to the Customs and Border Protection inspector alerting them of the dumping. "We are asking help to any authorities concerned about this, because we must protect our environment and our marine lives," the note read. (Baltimore Sun)
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