Specifically, Interorient kept false and incomplete records related to the discharges, which were released into the ocean without being properly processed through required pollution prevention equipment.
“Tankers are required to offload their waste oil at disposal facilities at ports and not into the Gulf of Mexico,” said David C. Joseph, U.S. attorney for Louisiana’s Western District, in a statement.
Interorient pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to accurately maintain the Ridgebury Alexandra Z’s oil record book. The company will pay a $2 million fine and serve a four-year probation, during which all of its vessels calling U.S. ports will require a “robust” environmental compliance plan, the Justice Department said.
The Ridgebury Alexandra Z’s captain, Vjaceslavs Birzakovs, also was charged in a six-count indictment by a grand jury in Louisiana’s Western District on Nov. 29 for his involvement in the oily waste dumping. The indictment alleges that Birzakovs ordered the bypass of the vessel’s pollution prevention equipment, falsified records, obstructed justice, made false statements and conspired with other crewmen to falsify the vessel’s oil record book.