05.01.08

Polluter Pays At Its Best

Posted in Conservation, Pollution at 7:14 pm by justakim

An Egyptian cargo company is paying a record fine for falsifying their records about dumping oil sludge straight into the ocean instead of incinerating it. Basically, they took a hose to bypass the system and siphon the leftover sludge overboard instead of burning it. There was evidence that at least in the initial ship, this was being done. What they’re really being caught on is for lying about it. Repetitively identical records is not a good sign!

The company has agreed to pay a $7.25 million fine, the largest penalty in the Northwest for dumping at sea, prosecutors said. The deal will go before a federal judge in Portland today for approval. The company also agreed to an elaborate environmental compliance plan that requires outside audits of its ships and a court-appointed monitor to track its operations.

About $2 million would go into an Oregon environmental fund that supports wildlife habitat projects.

The shipping company had the choice between making a settlement or not being able to do business in the US. Ever.

Using the money for other environmental projects is a nice touch. The Coast Guard is very effective in polluter-pays policy. If one is caught letting oil or other pollutants into the Coast Guard’s domain, the fines for not coming forward immediately far outweigh taking responsibility. And we’re talking per diem here. And you’re not done fixing your mess until the boys in blue say so.

Here’s a surprisingly nice piece on Coast Guard operations, centered around Katrina

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