Russian Captain Acquitted of MARPOL Violations in U.S.

A jury in the Western District of Louisiana has acquitted the Russian Master of an oil tanker on all charges related to illegal discharges from the vessel. After spending more than 19 months detained in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Captain Vjaceslavs Birzakovs, Master of the oil tanker RIDGEBURY ALEXANDRA Z, will now be able to return to Russia following his complete acquittal … [Read more...]

New U.S. Justice Dept. Policy May Affect Community Service Payments in MARPOL Plea Agreements

By H. Allen Black - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a new policy that may curtail the long-standing practice of requiring vessel owners and operators facing charges under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and MARPOL to make “Community Service Payments” to non profit groups such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as part of their plea … [Read more...]

Seas of Plastic

    By Jaquelyn Burton (Coeval, Inc.) Garbage is a problem. But, plastic is the real disaster - it is as valid on land as it is on the seas. In fact, a lot of the plastics in the seas came there by way of the cities and towns that are along the coastlines of the world. The trash that blows into the harbor and bays - that which comes from alongside the … [Read more...]

Tanker Captain Pleads Guilty to Felony Obstruction in ‘Magic Pipe’ Pollution Case

A Filipino ship captain has pleaded guilty to one felony count for obstructing a U.S. Coast Guard investigation into pollution crimes aboard his ship. Genaro Anciano, 52, who was the highest ranking officer aboard the tanker Green Sky, pleaded guilty to one count of Obstruction of an Agency Proceeding in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina. The charge stems from a … [Read more...]

IMO Adopts Landmark ‘Polar Code’ MARPOL Rules

The International Maritime Organization this week adopted the pollution prevention provisions of the long-awaited 'Polar Code', setting the first-ever international environmental and safety standards for ships trading in the world's polar regions. The environmental portion of the International Code for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) and associated MARPOL … [Read more...]