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EPA fines Tri Marine International $5,000 for ocean dumping violations in American Samoa

Release Date: 01/04/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(01/04/06) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently fined Tri Marine International $5,000 for the improper disposal of a tuna skiff offshore of Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa.

The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act and the EPA’s ocean dumping rules authorize the transportation and ocean disposal of vessels with a proper permit and notification. In May 2003, the company scuttled the tuna skiff without a permit and failed to provide the required notifications.

“The ocean disposal regulations ensure a vessel is properly disposed of to protect the marine environment,” said Alexis Strauss, director for the EPA’s Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Vessel owners need to understand a permit is needed and proper notifications completed before any ocean disposal can take place.”

The company failed to provide disposal information within the required time periods under the regulations. Tri Marine was required to submit information regarding the disposal to the EPA within 30 days and notify both the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard within 10 days that the vessel has been cleaned and was ready for inspection.

The regulations require a vessel to be disposed of farther than 12 nautical miles from land, but the tuna skiff was disposed of less than two nautical miles offshore of Pago Pago Harbor. Tri Marine has 30 days to pay the fine to the EPA.

Tri Marine also failed to:

provide disposal information within 48 hours to the EPA and the Coast Guard before the disposal took place;

issue a vessel departure notice within 12 hours before the vessel was scheduled to leave the harbor;

provide disposal data within one week of the disposal to NOAA with written notification of the exact coordinates of the disposal site.


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