AML Ship Management Fined $800,000 for Clean Water Act Violations

The City of Tokyo is a 603-foot long vehicle carrier weighing 42,247 gross tons operating under the flag of the Republic of Liberia. Image-DoJ
The City of Tokyo is a 603-foot long vehicle carrier weighing 42,247 gross tons operating under the flag of the Republic of Liberia. Image-DoJ

Terms for a plea agreement were reached between the Federal government and the German company AML Ship Management, operators of the City of Tokyo and the Chief Engineer of the vessel, Nicolas Sassin, for violations of the Clean Water Act in 2014 it was announced by the Justice Department.

It was in August of 2014 that AML Ship Management and Sassin “were both charged with knowingly dumping oil into United States’ waters off the coast of Alaska,” DoJ announced.

“AML and Chief Engineer Nicolas Sassin have also been charged in separate cases filed in the District of Oregon with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) for knowingly creating and presenting false records to the U.S. Coast Guard when it arrived in port in Portland, Oregon in September 2014. The Clean Water Act charges in Alaska and the APPS charges in Oregon are felony offenses, U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said.

“Specifically, AML admits that while the M/V City of Tokyo was approximately 165 nautical miles south of the Aleutian Islands, specifically Sanak Island, Alaska, the Chief Engineer used an illegal pump system to knowingly discharge approximately 4,500 gallons of oily bilge water directly overboard. The illegal pump system consisted of a fabricated flanged fitting that connected the overboard discharge valve and pipe to a pneumatic Wilden pump. The pump’s suction was connected to a hose that was fed down the sounding tube for the bilge holding tank. The illegal pump system allowed the vessel’s crew to discharge oily bilge water from the bilge holding tank directly overboard without processing it through the required pollution prevention equipment (OWS and oil content meter). The overboard discharge created a sheen in the water off the stern of the vessel, and this was witnessed by crewmembers aboard the M/V City of Tokyo. The illegal pump system was dismantled prior to the vessel’s arrival in Portland. AML knowingly failed to maintain an accurate ORB as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS),” the press release from DoJ stated.

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As a result of the plea agreement, AML has agreed to pay $800,000 in fines and community service payments. and will be placed on probation for three years. The Chief Engineer Sassin signed a separate plea agreement agreeing to plead “Guilty” to the Alaskan and Oregon charges.