The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed penalties of $81,474 this week against two commercial ships over inspection, monitoring and reporting violations in California and Louisiana. The MSC Aurora container ship and the Western Durban bulk carrier both violated EPA’s Vessel General Permit (VGP) issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
From November 2016 to July 2021, the MSC Aurora failed to conduct required routine visual inspections for 11 voyages to the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland. The MSC Aurora also failed to submit timely annual reports to the EPA for 2016 to 2019. For these inspection and reporting violations, Mediterranean Shipping Company will pay a civil penalty of $66,474 under the settlement.
In August 2017, the Western Durban failed to perform monthly functionality monitoring and an annual calibration of the ballast water treatment system before discharging ballast water at the Port of New Orleans. The ship also failed to conduct required biological monitoring after the discharge. EPA assessed penalties of $15,000 to Victoria Ship Management Inc.
EPA’s settlement with MSC resolves CWA violations onboard the MSC Aurora and is subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to final approval. The public comment period for the Western Durban has ended.