Horizon Lines has announced that the company has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve previously announced oily water separator violations in the US-Hawaii service. Under the resolution, the Jones Act operator will plead guilty to two counts of providing federal authorities with false vessel oil record-keeping entries on a containership in the U.S. West Coast-Hawaii service.
Under the agreement, the company will pay a fine of $1 million and donate an additional $500,000 to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation for environmental community service programs. The company also has agreed to be placed on probation for three years and institute an environmental compliance plan.
The charges stem from the improper use of an oily water separator and related inappropriate record keeping on the Horizon Enterprise, an American-flag containership that sails between Tacoma, Oakland and Honolulu.
As part of the company’s environmental review, Horizon Lines says it has conducted a fleet-wide audit and has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice, the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities involved. The company also immediately implemented a compliance and training program, which is being performed by an outside contractor, augmenting the company’s existing environmental policies for mitigating operational impacts while at sea. Horizon Lines has also established the position of Environmental Compliance Director to lead Horizon’s overall environmental compliance programs. The position reports directly to the company’s Chief Compliance Officer and the Board of Directors.
“Horizon Lines has always endeavored to operate as a responsible environmental steward,” said Stephen Fraser, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We do not in any way minimize the unauthorized actions by a few individuals that run contrary to the care and training normally demonstrated by our vessel crews throughout the company. We are making every effort to see that this does not happen again, as we continue to provide service to our customers as an environmentally responsible American corporation.”