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EPA Settles Clean Water Act Violations with Swire Shipping and MMS Co.

Photo: IMO

EPA Settles Clean Water Act Violations with Swire Shipping and MMS Co.

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1053
June 29, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled with shipping Swire Shipping and MMS Co. over claims Clean Water Act violations, specifically EPA’s Vessel General Permit.

Singapore-based Swire Shipping’s settlement is related to ballast water treatment on three of its vessels that visited ports in American Samoa and the U.S. The settlement includes penalties of $67,075 for the M/V Papuan Chief, $19,906 for the M/V New Guinea Chief, and $50,019 for the M/V Lintan, for a total of $137,000.

MMS Co., a privately-owned company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, failed to meet ballast water limitations and report accurate information in annual reports at U.S. ports, resulting in a settlement with penalties of $110,509 for the M/T St. Pauli and $89,491 for the M/T Centennial Misumi, totaling $200,000.

The settlements resolve claims related to violations of the EPA’s Vessel General Permit issued under the Clean Water Act and are subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to final approval.

“EPA takes compliance with the Vessel General Permit – a key element under the Clean Water Act – seriously. It is vitally important that vessel owners and operators properly manage what they discharge into our oceans, and that they meet their monitoring and reporting requirements,” said Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “Noncompliance with the permit can seriously impact the quality of our nation’s waters, which are already challenged by port operations.”

Vessel self-inspections are required to identify potential sources of spills, broken pollution prevention equipment, or other issues that might lead to permit violations. Discharges by ships must be monitored to ensure aquatic ecosystems are protected from pollutants and invasive species. Discharges of other waste streams regulated by the Vessel General Permit can cause toxic impacts to local species or contain pathogenic organisms.

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