Singapore firm cops $1m fine for polluting Hawaiian waters

Singapore’s Hai Soon Ship Management has been fined $1m and must serve a two-year probation period for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and making false statements concerning the illegal dumping of oil contaminated bilge water at sea in Hawaiian waters.

The company pled guilty to the charges on June 14, and US district court judge Helen Gillmor sentenced the company yesterday.

According to court documents, in October 2017, the chief engineer of the Hai Soon 39, along with other engine room staff, constructed a hose in the engine room to bypass the ship’s pollution prevention equipment, including its oil water separator, and pump oily waste directly overboard.

The resultant discharges were never recorded in the ship’s oil record book, as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and the chief engineer made false entries in the oil record book to make it appear that the discharges had been routed through the oil water separator.

“The marine environment that surrounds the Hawaiian islands is unique, and part of the islands’ natural beauty,” US attorney Kenji Price said in a statement. “This office will continue to work with the US Coast Guard and use every tool at its disposal to bring to justice those who violate the law by polluting the sea.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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