Jan 02, 2007

Company Fined $37 Million For Repeated Oil Spills

The owner of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., one of the world’s largest fleets of oil tankers, plead guilty to repeatedly dumping waste oil into the ocean. The company owner admitted to pouring the oil into the ocean off the coast of Maine and other states.

The company agreed to pay a record $37 million fine for the dumping and also logbook violations involving 12 of the tankers from 2001 to 2005.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland, Maine reported to the Kennebec Journal, that over $2 million of the penalty will go to a fund for environmental projects in Maine as compensation for the damage.

Acting Massachusetts Associate Attorney William Mercer denounced the company for deliberately polluting the ocean.

Crew members from OSG reported that they were ordered to install hoses or pipes that pumped waste engine oil and oily bilge water overboard at night instead of emptying the waste into storage tanks. The oil was dumped in order to avoid the cost and additional time it would take to discharge it properly.

A coast guard investigator estimates that hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil had been dumped into the ocean over the years.

Morten Arntzen, the CEO of OSG, issued a press release with the following statement: "The changes that we have implemented based on what we learned from this investigation support our goal to be the most respected and successful transportation services company in the shipping industry."