Doorae Shipping Co., a South Korean shipping company, was fined by the US District Court of Hawaii of about $1 million after dumping oily bilge water into the ocean and tried to cover it up.
The oil tanker B.Sky which is owned by Doorae Shipping Co. discharged polluted water into the ocean several hundred miles off the coast of Hawaii in February.
The oil tanker like B. Sky usually produces a lot of oil from their machinery which drips down to the bilge area and mixes with seawater. According to the law, ships should record the amount of bilge water they are producing and are only allowed to discharge if the oil content is not over 15 parts per million.
Jung Mun, the ship’s chief engineering officer, didn’t report the discharge but instead put in place a bypass system stating that they released at least 500 gallons of oily fluid into the ocean.
The company and the chief engineer were pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an exact record of the discharge and for making wrong statements to the U.S. Coast Guard. The shipping company was fined with $950,000, whereas, Jung Mun will be fined $250,000 and is now facing a five-year prison sentence.
Doorae Shipping Co. will also be required to participate in a court-monitored environmental compliance program. Stiff penalties are given because shipping companies are rarely caught of polluting in international waters.