Greek Shipping Company Fined €2 Million for Environmental Violations on Oil Tanker

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Greek shipping company, Zeus Lines Management S.A., has been found guilty of violating environmental laws and has agreed to pay a penalty of €2,027,065 euros ($2.25 million US dollars), according to federal prosecutors. The violations were carried out by the captain and chief engineer of one of its oil tankers, the Galissas, during a voyage from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to Rhode Island.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Providence announced that the Galissas discharged almost 10,000 gallons of oily bilge water directly into the ocean and failed to report a hazardous condition in the vessel’s cargo tanks to the U.S. Coast Guard last year. The tanker’s captain pleaded guilty to failing to report the hazardous condition to the Coast Guard prior to the tanker entering the port of Newport, Rhode Island.

The vessel’s chief engineer pleaded guilty to knowingly discharging untreated oily bilge water directly from the tanker into the sea during the voyage. As per the plea agreement, Zeus' penalty of €2,027,065 euros includes a fine of €1,515,917.5 euros and €511,147.5 euros to be allocated to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for marine and coastal natural resources in Rhode Island. Additionally, Zeus will need to implement a robust environmental compliance plan for its vessels when they enter a U.S. port.

"This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of the marine environment," Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement. "The reckless actions of these defendants not only threatened the marine environment, but also the safety of this coastal community."

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