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Tanker Company Charged with Pollution on the High Seas

June 22, 2007 — Prosecutors charged a Greek oil-tanker company Friday with failing to keep records of how they dealt with "large quantities" of oil, sludge and other petroleum-based pollutants that could have been jettisoned into the territory's waters.
Charged were the owners of Greece-based Ionia Management S.A. and Edgardo Mercurio, second engineer aboard the M/T Kriton, Ionia Management's 606-foot, 28,933-gross-ton, ocean-going oil tanker. They were charged with six counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships arising from the use of false oil record books, said U.S. Attorney Anthony Jenkins.
"Engine-department operations on large marine vessels like the M/T Kriton generate large quantities of sludge created when fuel oil used to fuel the ship is purified by the ship's oil purifiers," Jenkins said.
Mercurio and the ship's owners "did knowingly fail to maintain an Oil Record Book for the M/T Kriton in which all disposals of oil residue, all overboard discharges and all disposals otherwise of oil, oil sludge, oil residues, oily mixtures, bilge slops and bilge water that accumulated in the machinery space and elsewhere aboard the M/T Kriton were fully recorded, by failing to disclose exceptional discharges of oil-contaminated waste made through a bypass hose and without the use of a properly functioning oily water separator and oil-content monitor," he said.
Although the federal indictment doesn't hint at what happened to the missing oil and sludge, it does say the ship's record books were false at least six times between August 27, 2006, and March 13, 2007.
Each time the records were inspected by Coast Guard officials in St. Croix, the indictment said.
There was no way of knowing how much oily sludge was missing, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett.
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June 22, 2007 -- Prosecutors charged a Greek oil-tanker company Friday with failing to keep records of how they dealt with "large quantities" of oil, sludge and other petroleum-based pollutants that could have been jettisoned into the territory's waters.
Charged were the owners of Greece-based Ionia Management S.A. and Edgardo Mercurio, second engineer aboard the M/T Kriton, Ionia Management's 606-foot, 28,933-gross-ton, ocean-going oil tanker. They were charged with six counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships arising from the use of false oil record books, said U.S. Attorney Anthony Jenkins.
"Engine-department operations on large marine vessels like the M/T Kriton generate large quantities of sludge created when fuel oil used to fuel the ship is purified by the ship's oil purifiers," Jenkins said.
Mercurio and the ship's owners "did knowingly fail to maintain an Oil Record Book for the M/T Kriton in which all disposals of oil residue, all overboard discharges and all disposals otherwise of oil, oil sludge, oil residues, oily mixtures, bilge slops and bilge water that accumulated in the machinery space and elsewhere aboard the M/T Kriton were fully recorded, by failing to disclose exceptional discharges of oil-contaminated waste made through a bypass hose and without the use of a properly functioning oily water separator and oil-content monitor," he said.
Although the federal indictment doesn't hint at what happened to the missing oil and sludge, it does say the ship's record books were false at least six times between August 27, 2006, and March 13, 2007.
Each time the records were inspected by Coast Guard officials in St. Croix, the indictment said.
There was no way of knowing how much oily sludge was missing, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joycelyn Hewlett.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.