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South Korean company sentenced for failing to record oily discharges in Pacific

A South Korean company was sentenced in federal court in Honolulu today to pay a $750,000 fine and a $200,000 community service payment for failing to maintain an accurate record of oil waste.

Doorae Shipping Co. pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi for failing to maintain an accurate oil record in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and for making false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard concerning the discharge of oil-contaminated bilge water.

The company was also sentenced to two years’ probation.

Jeung Mun, a chief engineer on the B. Sky oil tanker operated by Doorae, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced in July in connection with the case. Mun pleaded guilty today to one count of causing the maintenance of a faulty oil record book.

According to a plea agreement, Mun caused at least 528 gallons, or 2 cubic meters, of oil-contaminated bilge water to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean in international waters before the vessel arrived in Honolulu on Feb. 7. Mun didn’t record the discharge into the oil record book.

The B. Sky is a tanker that refuels fishing vessels at sea.

The court approved the payment of the $200,000 community service payment to be donated to the National Fish and Wildlife Service Foundation to fund projects that preserve and enhance coral reefs and reef ecosystems in Hawaii.

“The oceans and marine wildlife must be protected from marine companies that look to cut corners by dumping untreated waste,” said Jay M. Green, Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal enforcement program in Hawaii. “The defendants in this case falsified their log books in an attempt to conceal their crimes, but thanks to the thoroughness of Coast Guard and EPA investigators and the persistence of the United States Attorney’s Office, the defendants got caught. Today’s guilty pleas demonstrate that the American people will not tolerate the flagrant violation of U.S. laws.”

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