Tag Archives: waste dumping

How Ships Dump Oily Waste at Sea

Bilge compartment in a steel hulled ship (looking down).  Image from wikipedia

A ship company based in Germany and the chief engineer on one of its vessels have agreed to plead guilty to illegally dumping oily water off Alaska.  The AML Ship Management GMBH and Nicolas Sassin, the chief engineer on the AML-operated ship City of Tokyo, agreed to plead guilty to violating federal clean water law by knowingly dumping 4,500 gallons of oily bilge water south of the Aleutian Islands.  The company and Sassin, 45, face a separate charge of presenting false pollution oversight records to the U.S. Coast Guard when the vessel docked in Portland, Oregon, prosecutors said.  As part of the plea deal, AML agreed to pay $800,000 in fines and community service payments…

Discharge of oily waste from vessels is a worldwide problem, said Kevin Feldis, first assistant U.S. attorney.”This is the first time we have charged Clean Water Act crimes for an actual discharge of oil into the EEZ (exclusive economic zone) off the coast of Alaska,” Feldis said in an email. “As detailed in the court documents, witnesses saw a sheen off the side of the vessel after the chief engineer hooked up a pump to illegally dump oily bilge water overboard.

Water routinely accumulates in the bilge, or bottom, of vessels. Federal law requires ships to store it until it can be treated on shore, or to run it through an onboard oil-water separator. Water that contains less than 15 parts per million of petroleum can be dumped overboard…On Aug. 29, 2015  as the ship passed 165 miles south of Alaska’s Sanak Island, Sassin used an illegal pump system to dump untreated oily bilge water over the side of the 603-foot ship, bypassing the oil-water separator and other pollution control equipment, prosecutors said.

“Nobody knows exactly how much oily waste is illegally dumped from ships, but as this case demonstrates, a determined engineer with a few pieces of equipment who does not have proper oversight can easily circumvent the pollution prevention equipment onboard vessels,” Feldis said.

Excerpt fro DAN JOLING German company, ship’s chief engineer reach plea agreement in Alaska marine pollution case, Associated Press, Feb. 12, 2015

How to Dump Oil and Get Away with it

Up to 100 litres of oil has been dumped in a stream next to Long Bay marine reserve and authorities are struggling to trace the source. Auckland Council’s pollution response team was alerted on Sunday when residents noticed a sheen on the water’s surface.  Around 60 to 100 litres of waste oil was found, including some in the stormwater lines coming from the residential area on the southern side of Beach Rd.  Absorbent booms and a vacuum truck were used to collect the oil from the surface before it entered the marine reserve.  The booms will remain in place until the team is confident oil has stopped leaching into the stream.  Senior pollution response advisor Aaron Graham said any impact on the environment had been minimised.  “We have had paint and sediment discharges in the past year but this we think is most likely automotive oil,” he said.  “We did manage to maintain the majority of the oil, but there was some absorption into the environment like oil sticking to leaves and that sort of thing.  “With the size and nature of this spill there shouldn’t be any major impacts on the environment.”

Attempts to trace the oil through the stormwater system have been unsuccessful.  “Oil leaves a sheen on the water and so we look to trace this using maps of the stormwater lines and manholes,” Graham said.  “In this case we weren’t able to trace it as the oil had been washed through the drains because of the rain.”  Whoever is responsible could be fined and face prosecution.  Auckland Council warned that stormwater drains were for rain water only, not a dumping ground for other substances.

MARYKE PENMAN, Oil dumped near marine reserve, Auckland Now, Aug. 15, 2012

Illegal Waste Exports: UK and the Netherlands Ship Toxic Waste to Indonesia

Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo has strongly criticized the British and Dutch governments for allowing hazardous and toxic waste to be shipped to Indonesia.  Speaking to reporters after inspecting 113 containers of hazardous and toxic waste (B3) confiscated by customs officials at the Koja port in North Jakarta on Saturday, Agus said that the British and Dutch governments had violated the Basel Convention by failing to report such shipments to Indonesia.“If those countries complied with the Basel Convention, they should have reported the shipments to Indonesia because they contained hazardous and toxic waste,” Agus said.  Customs Director General Agung Kuswandono said that 89 containers came from England, while the rest came from the Netherlands. They were allegedly imported by PT HHS…Agung said that PT HHS acted as an importer which wanted to recycle the steel.  Environmental Minister Balthasar Kambuata said that metal scraps were not banned from entering  Indonesia.  “However, they must be safe and clean. These look like garbage. Some of them are wet, some are dry and some even drips smelly liquids. These clearly violate the law,” Balthasar said.

Excerpt, Hans David Tampubolon, UK, Netherlands criticized over toxic waste shipments to RI, Jan. 29, 2012