In what is the second outrageous conviction for ship waste dumping this year, a little known Liberian company has been charged $700,000 for dumping oily waste; highlighting the shocking measures some operators take to avoid delivering waste to port facilities.

In what is the second outrageous conviction for ship waste dumping this year, a little known Liberian company has been charged $700,000 for dumping oily waste; highlighting the shocking measures some operators take to avoid delivering waste to port facilities.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Cardiff Marine, another Liberian-registered shipping company, was found guilty of illegally dumping waste at sea. The vessel was found to have a ‘bypass hose’, commonly referred to as a magic pipe, that allowed the ship to siphon off oily waste into the sea rather than store it onboard and pay for disposal at a port reception facility.

In the case of Epps Shipping who were sentenced last week, the US Coast Guard found the vessel’s Oil Water Separator and other pollution prevention equipment were inoperable. The crew simply used the emergency bilge discharge system to dump oily waste directly overboard, without processing it through the ship’s pollution prevention equipment, as required by law. No discharges were recorded in the Oil Record Book – a mandatory requirement after any discharge at sea.

Both cases this year highlight the disturbing measures that some rogue ship operators take rather than invest in proper maintenance of equipment or to avoid payment for discharging waste at a Port Reception Facility.

The extent of international ship waste dumping is unknown, yet it is considered relatively risk free as efforts to enforce international legislation are weak and in many countries, inspections of vessels are inadequate, both in substance and in number. It has also been estimated that out of 8 million items of waste dumped at sea each day, 5 million are thought to emanate from the shipping sector.

In Europe, deterrents to ship waste dumping are weak and very few prosecutions have been made in this context; calling into question the ability of European inspections to unearth malpractise.


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