Hoegh Fleet Services pays $3.5 million fine for dumping waste oil
Hoegh Fleet Services A/S, a Norwegian operator of cargo vessels, has pled guilty to seven criminal charges relating to dumping waste oil into the ocean, and agreed to a plea bargain in which Hoegh will pay a fine of $3.5 million, according to U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in Tacoma, Wash.
The seven felony counts included obstruction and making false statements to federal inspectors relating to falsification of records and concealment of evidence of intentional dumping of waste oil into the ocean, Leighton said.
As part of the plea bargaining agreement, Hoegh must develop and implement an environmental compliance plan for its fleet of 38 vessels that call at U.S. ports, and serve four years on probation.
Last fall, Leighton sentenced Vincent Genovana, an engineer on the Hoegh “Minerva,” to 30 days in jail, followed by two years of supervised release, after Genovana pled guilty to charges of falsifying documents and covering up evidence. The court acknowledged Genovana’s cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard in making a case against Hoegh.
After Genovana served his jail time, the court said he was deported from the United States to his native Philippines, and prohibited from re-entering the country without permission from immigration officials.
Leighton will officially sentence Hoegh Fleet Services June 29.