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PA NEW ENGLAND OIL SPILL RESULTS IN HEAVY PENALTIES
Release Date: 01/16/98
FOR RELEASE: JANUARY 16, 1998
NEW ENGLAND OIL SPILL RESULTS IN HEAVY PENALTIES
On Jan. 9, Eklof Marine Corp. of Staten Island, N.Y.; its subsidiaries Thor Towing Corp. and Odin Marine Corp.; Eklof’s former president and current director, Leslie Wallin of Mountainside, N.J.; and Gregory Aitken of West Islip, N.Y.; were fined for pleading guilty to federal charges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, in Providence for a January 1996 spill off the coast of Rhode Island. In previous federal plea agreements, Eklof, Thor, Odin, Wallin and Aitken, captain of the tug Scandia, admitted that both the tug and the barge were improperly equipped to safely navigate stormy waters. The federal judgement requires the companies to pay a $3.5 million federal fine, provide an additional $1.5 million to the Nature Conservancy to buy land for conservation purposes and spend another $1 million on remedial safety measures. The companies were also placed on three years of federal probation. On the same day, Eklof, Thor and Odin were fined in Rhode Island Superior Court in Providence for charges that arose from the same spill. The companies were fined an additional $3.5 million and placed on three years probation by the Rhode Island Superior Court. In addition, the federal court fined Wallin $100,000 and placed him on three years probation. Aitken was fined $10,000 in federal court and placed on two years probation. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Coast Guard Investigative Services, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.