Another day, another successful prosecution of a ship intentionally polluting the ocean!
A Cypriot ship management company is being fined $2 million after it was discovered that their tanker Ridgebury Alexandra Z has been dumping oily waste into the ocean without first running it through an oil water separator. They were also found guilty of falsifying their oil record book.
What’s notable about this case is that the engineers Ridgebury Alexandra Z created a system to bypass their oil water separator that was far more advanced than a typical magic pipe, which simply diverts the wastewater around the separation system. Instead they created a method that ran clean water through the ship’s sensors, while actually dumping the real wastewater straight overboard. The pollution system on the ship then recorded the false number based on the clean water, which made their records appear normal, despite the 90,000 gallons of untreated waste water that was dumped into the ocean.
Coast Guard inspectors caught wind that something was fishy, and began an investigation. The owners of the Ridgebury Alexandra Z pled guilty, and in addition to the $2 million fine, they were given four years of probation, and made to implement an environmental compliance plan for all ships that will enter the United States.
As ships find new ways to circumvent the law in their quest to save money by polluting the ocean, law enforcement is there to match them every step of the way. If you see something similar happening on your ship, remember that there are many ways to report illegal dumping to the US Coast Guard and other authorities, and rewards for whistleblowers who help bring about successful prosecutions.