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CALIFORNIA SHIPPER AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY AND PAY $3 MILLION FINE
Release Date: 01/19/2001
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JAN. 19, 2001
CALIFORNIA SHIPPER AGREES TO PLEAD
GUILTY AND PAY $3 MILLION FINE
Matson Navigation Co. of San Francisco, Calif. agreed on Jan. 11 to plead guilty to six felony charges of making false statements. Matson used the vessel, Lihue, primarily to ship cargo between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii. The charges state that, from 1966 through 1998, crew members of the vessel made false entries into the vessel’s Oil Record Book. The entries falsely stated that bilge waters, potentially contaminated with oil, had been processed through a pollution-control device, known as an oil water separator, before being discharged into the ocean. However, the oil water separator on the ship was not working at the time, creating the potential for the release of oil into the ocean and potentially harming fish and other aquatic resources. As part of the agreement Matson will pay a total of $3 million in fines, the maximum amount allowed under the law. Of the fines, $1.5 million will be used to provide environmental enhancements in California at the Channel Islands National Park, the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Point Reyes National Seashore in California and in Washington state at the Olympic National Park. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Coast Guard. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Los Angeles, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash.
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