US federal court fines d’Amico Shipping US$4 million for oil discharge and cover-up

Image: Junge
Image: Junge – Cielo di Milano

Italian shipping company d’Amico Shipping has been fined US$4 million for dumping “oily waste” and other rubbish into American waters and for deliberately covering up its involvement in the incident.

The company pleaded guilty of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships in US federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday, April 17.

The subsequent plea agreement means d’Amico will be placed on four-year environmental compliance probation in addition to being required to pay the US$4 million fine.

The company has admitted through a joint factual statement filed in court that the crew of the oil tanker Cielo di Milano intentionally ignored required protocols whenever they discharged bilge water and oily waste from the vessel’s engine room directly into the sea. This occurred on a regular basis during the vessel’s numerous trips to New Jersey while transporting petroleum products between the US and Canada from August 2014 to January 2015.

d’Amico has also admitted that the ship’s crew made false statements and falsified the vessel’s oil record book to conceal any wrongdoing on their part whenever US Coast Guard officials went on board to conduct inspections.

Further, it was revealed that, upon the conclusion of an inspection of the vessel by the coast guard in January 2015, the chief engineer burned the vessel’s sounding log. The chief engineer pleaded guilty and was fined US$5,000 and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment in 2016 for his role in the dumping and subsequent cover-up.

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