Shipping company ordered to pay $2.25M after discharging oily bilge off Rhode Island

Aug 9, 2023, 5:23 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The owner of a Greek oil tanker has been ordered by a U.S. judge to pay $2.25 million in fines and penalties after discharging oily bilge water into the ocean during a trans-Atlantic voyage and admitting to other environmental violations by its captain and chief engineer.

Zeus Lines Management S.A. was fined over $1.68 million at a formal sentencing Tuesday and will pay an additional $562,500 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund projects that benefit marine and coastal natural resources in Rhode Island, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney in the state.

The company and the two crew members had agreed to the penalties in May.

The Galissas, owned by Zeus, was transporting a cargo of diesel from Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Rhode Island in February 2022 when it discharged nearly 10,000 gallons (about 37,000 liters) of bilge water, and also failed to report a hazardous condition in the cargo tanks to the U.S. Coast Guard, prosecutors said.

The Galissas’ captain, Master Jose Ervin Mahinge Porquez, previously admitted to violating the Ports and Waterways Safety Act for failing to report to the Coast Guard, prior to entering Rhode Island waters, that the system ensuring safe oxygen levels within cargo tanks was inoperable.

When the Coast Guard was informed, it found that oxygen levels registered more than double the allowable limit and ordered the vessel to move farther offshore so it did not endanger the community of Newport.

Chief Engineer Roberto Cayabyab Penaflor admitted to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for knowingly discharging untreated oily bilge water directly from the tanker into the sea, federal prosecutors said.

The bilge water was not processed through required pollution prevention equipment, and the illegal discharges were not recorded in the vessel’s oil record book, as required by law, prosecutors said.

Porquez and Penaflor are residents of the Philippines.

The defendants will also serve a four-year term of probation, during which time all vessels operated by the company calling on U.S. ports will be required to adhere to a strict environmental compliance plan.

National News

Alyssa Milligan participates in the Bike Ride Across Wilson County in conjunction with the Tennesse...

Associated Press

New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Alyssa Milligan was someone who intuitively knew when another person needed help, encouragement or a kind word. Although she was new to Tennessee, the 23-year old physical therapy student, whose mother called her “Sweet Alyssa,” had already made many close connections, especially within the tight-knit cycling community around Nashville — before […]

4 hours ago

Bridge to Calculus summer program participants, from left, Steven Ramos, Kevin Dang, Kevin Tran, Pe...

Associated Press

America’s poor math skills raise alarms over global competitiveness

BOSTON (AP) — Like a lot of high school students, Kevin Tran loves superheroes, though perhaps for different reasons than his classmates. “They’re all insanely smart. In their regular jobs they’re engineers, they’re scientists,” said Tran, 17. “And you can’t do any of those things without math.” Tran also loves math. This summer, he studied […]

5 hours ago

A no-trespassing sign hangs on a gate outside a private property, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Pomf...

Associated Press

Leaf-peeping influencers are clogging a Vermont backroad. The town is closing it

POMFRET, Vt. (AP) — Social media influencers take note: You won’t be able to snap that fall foliage selfie at a popular Vermont spot. The town has temporarily closed the road to nonresidents due to overcrowding and “poorly behaved tourists.” The normally quiet dirt road from Pomfret to Woodstock, home to the frequently photographed Sleepy […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

With a government shutdown just days away, Congress is moving into crisis mode

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a government shutdown five days away, Congress is moving into crisis mode as Speaker Kevin McCarthy faces an insurgency from hard-right Republicans eager to slash spending even if it means curtailing federal services for millions of Americans. There’s no clear path ahead as lawmakers return with tensions high and options limited. […]

6 hours ago

FILE - United Auto Workers members walk the picket line at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayn...

Associated Press

Biden is headed to Michigan to join the UAW picket line. He’s all-in on showing his union bona fides

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s decision to stand alongside United Auto Workers picketers Tuesday on the 12th day of their strike against major carmakers underscores an allegiance to labor unions that appears to be unparalleled in presidential history. Experts in presidential and U.S. labor history say they cannot recall an instance where a sitting […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

California governor signs law barring schoolbook bans based on racial, gender teachings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to ban school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of people from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities. Newsom called the measure “long overdue.” “From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Shipping company ordered to pay $2.25M after discharging oily bilge off Rhode Island