EPA fines two vessels over Clean Water Act violations

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed penalties totalling $81,474 against container ship MSC Aurora (IMO 9484481) and bulk carrier Western Durban (IMO 9700031) on November 15th, over inspection, monitoring, and reporting violations in California and Louisiana. Both were reported to have violated the EPA’s Vessel General Permit (VGP) issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA). From November 2016 to July 2021 the MSC Aurora failed to conduct required routine visual inspections for 11 voyages to the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland. It also failed to submit timely annual reports to EPA for the period 2016 to 2019. Mediterranean Shipping Co SRL has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $66,474 under the settlement.

Meanwhile In Aug 2017, the Western Durban failed to perform monthly functionality monitoring and an annual calibration of the ballast water treatment system before discharging ballast water at the Port of New Orleans. The ship also failed to conduct required biological monitoring after the discharge. EPA assessed penalties totalling $15,000 to the Tokyo-based Victoria Ship Management company.

The violations were discovered in February 2020 as part of EPA and US Coast Guard on-site visual inspections at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The EPA’s settlement with MSC resolves CWA violations onboard the ‘MSC Aurora’ and is subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to final approval. The public comment period for the ‘Western Durban’ has ended.

2012-built, Panama-flagged, 143,521 gt MSC Aurora is owned by Aenas Holdings SA care of manager Mediterranean Shipping Co SRL of Piaondi Sorrento, Naples, Italy. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co SA.

2015-built, Philippines-flagged, 24,868 gt Western Durban is owned by Ratu Shipping Co SA of Tokyo, Japan. It is manager by Nisshin Shipping Co Ltd of the same address. ISM manager is Victoria Ship Management Phi of Manila, Philippines. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of Sagana Shipp Incing.