Antillean Marine hit with $1m fine for oil pollution, ballast water crimes

MIAMI – Americas Marine Management Services, based here and doing business as Antillean Marine, was sentenced this week to five years probation and a $1 million fine by U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan for failure to maintain an accurate oil record book and for failing to submit reports to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse. Half of the fine will be directed to the South Florida National Parks Trust.

According to a release from the Coast Guard, “Americas Marine Management Services operated the Titan Express from a terminal on the Miami River. On or about August 9, 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard embarked the Titan Express to conduct a port state control examination. They noticed excessive oil and diesel fuel leaking from various components of the ship’s main diesel engine. The Coast Guard asked the ship’s chief engineer to operate the ship’s oil water separator, the pivotal equipment on board the ship for the management of oily waste. The oil water separator did not function properly and gave inconsistent readings. The Coast Guard opened the oil water separator’s content meter and observed that it contained untreated, viscous oil.

The Coast Guard then examined the Titan Express oil record book. The oil record book contained six fictitious entries showing purported usage of the oil water separator that, in reality, had never occurred. Overall, the oil record book did not provide any accounting for how Americas Marine Management Services and the crew of the Titan Express handled the ship’s oily waste.

“The Coast Guard then examined a log in the engine room entitled the ‘Night Orders Book.’ An entry dated January 10, 2010 contained an order from the ship’s chief engineer to his staff to ‘Always pump out the bilge water. When finished, wash the pump with sea water for 20 minutes to clean out the line. If you don’t do it, you’ll bring pollution problems, especially in Miami.'”

“Finally, the Titan Express departed the waters of a foreign country and arrived in Miami on July 29, 2010, without making the required report to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse. The National Ballast Information Clearinghouse is a joint program of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the U.S. Coast Guard. Its mandate is to understand and prevent the introduction of non-indigenous species to the fresh, brackish, and saltwater environments of the United States.”

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