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Zeaborn to Pay $2 Million for Illegally Dumping Oily Bilge Water and Garbage Overboard

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2905
August 23, 2023

Singaporean shipping company Zeaborn Ship Management has pleaded guilty to maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oily bilge water and garbage on board the vessel Star Maia.

Zeaborn has agreed to pay a $2 million penalty. The Chief Engineer, Constancio Estuye, and Captain, Alexander Parreno, have also pleaded guilty for their involvement in the crimes.

Zeaborn and Estuye admitted to illegally dumping over 7,500 gallons of oily bilge water from the Star Maia into the ocean without processing it through required pollution prevention equipment, and then falsely recording the discharges in the oil record book. Oily bilge water typically contains oil contamination from the operation and cleaning of machinery on the vessel.

Zeaborn and Parreno further admitted to illegal discharges of oily bilge water and burning garbage on the Star Maia’s deck on least three or four occasions between June and August 2022, which was then thrown into the ocean. The garbage included paper, plastics and oily rags, which tehy burned in barrels and dumped overboard. This was not recorded in the vessel’s garbage record book as required by law.

“Illegally dumping oily waste and garbage at sea poses a serious threat to the health and viability of the marine environment,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that those who violate environmental laws are held accountable for their criminal conduct.”

Zeaborn has pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) in a US District Court in San Diego, agreeing to pay a $1.5 million fine and a $500,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company will also serve a four-year probation period, during which any vessels calling on US ports must implement an environmental compliance plan.

Estuye and Parreno each pleaded guilty to one felony violation for failing to accurately maintain the oil and garbage record books for the Star Maia. Sentencing for defendants Zeaborn, Estuve and Parreno is set for December 1.

“This prosecution highlights the Justice Department and the U.S. Coast Guard’s continued dedication in safeguarding our maritime environment against those that seek to deliberately harm our natural resources,” said Sector Commander Captain James W. Spitler of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector San Diego. “Illegal dumping of oil, falsification of oil record books and flagrant disregard for air emission requirements are egregious violations.  These guilty pleas should serve as a reminder that the Coast Guard and our partners at the Justice Department will work tirelessly to hold accountable those that seek to deliberately harm the maritime environment.”

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