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Japanese Transportation Company Will Pay $2 Million for Dumping Oily Wastes in the Pacific Ocean

Release Date: 02/10/2005
Contact Information:

Stacie Findon 202-564-7338 /
(02/10/05) Fujitrans Corp. of Japan, operator of the Motor Vessel (MV) Cygnus, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and was sentenced on Feb. 3 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland. Fujitrans was ordered to pay a $1,005,000 fine in the District of Oregon and was also ordered to pay a $335,000 fine in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California where part of the case is based. In addition, Fujitrans will pay $495,000 as community service to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $165,000 to the Channel Islands National Park located in Ventura, Calif. Both of these payments will benefit local natural resource programs. Fujitrans was also placed on three years probation and was ordered to implement an environmental compliance program. The Cyngus is used to import automobiles into the United States. A whistleblower brought the case to the attention of federal authorities in March 2002. The whistleblower was awarded $360,000 from the fine. Crewmen of the Cygnus had used a bypass pipe to discharge oily wastes into the ocean and they had falsified the ship's Oil Record Book which records the disposition of oil and oily wastes on the ship. The discharge of oil into the ocean can be harmful to aquatic life, therefore it is very important that accurate oil record books be kept on ships and that oily wastes not be discharged into the ocean. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Coast Guard. It was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Portland.