Engineers Admit Guilt In New Jersey Oil Pollution Case

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  • Two ship engineers have pleaded guilty to charges of concealing pollution and falsifying records onboard an oil tanker near a petroleum terminal in Sewaren, New Jersey.
  • The engineers admitted to bypassing pollution prevention equipment, discharging oily waste into the sea, and falsifying records to deceive Coast Guard inspections.
  • Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a substantial fine.

In a significant legal development, two ship engineers have admitted guilt to charges related to oil pollution and record falsification aboard an oil tanker near a New Jersey petroleum terminal. The case, brought forth by the U.S. Office of Public Affairs and prosecuted by federal authorities, underscores the gravity of environmental violations in the maritime industry.

Admission of Wrongdoing

The chief engineer involved in the case confessed to bypassing pollution prevention equipment and illegally discharging oily waste into the sea near a petroleum terminal in Sewaren, New Jersey. Additionally, he admitted to falsifying the vessel’s oil record book (ORB) and orchestrating efforts to conceal equipment from Coast Guard inspections. Similarly, the second engineer pleaded guilty to concealing the discharge of oily waste and directing crew members to hide equipment, further implicating the ship’s crew in the environmental violations.

Investigation and Prosecution

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service spearheaded the investigation into the pollution incident, working in collaboration with prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. The coordinated effort underscores the government’s commitment to enforcing maritime regulations and holding accountable those responsible for environmental crimes.

Potential Penalties and Sentencing

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a substantial fine, highlighting the severity of the offenses committed by the engineers. The sentencing, scheduled for October 22, will determine the consequences for their actions, including potential incarceration and financial penalties. The outcome of the case serves as a warning to individuals and companies in the maritime industry, emphasizing the legal repercussions of environmental violations and the importance of compliance with environmental regulations.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the case against the two engineers serves as a stark reminder of the significant consequences of environmental misconduct in the maritime sector. With sentencing looming, the outcome will underscore the government’s commitment to upholding environmental laws and safeguarding marine ecosystems from pollution and degradation.

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Source: Safety4sea