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Coast Guard 35 articles

Arab Ship Management penalized 500K in plea agreement for illegally dumping oily waste

The Justice Department and the U.S. Coast Guard have recently announced that Arab Ship Management Ltd., a Jordan-based shipping company, has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. According to the plea agreement, Arab Ship Management must pay a criminal penalty totaling $500,000. The company has also been placed on probation for two years, which forbids Arab Ship Management’s ships from calling on United States ports. “The defendant violated environmental laws that protect our marine environment from harmful pollution,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware Charles M. Oberly ... Read More

Lower Mississippi River reopens after oil spill prompted shutdown

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The U.S. Coast Guard reopened a stretch of the lower Mississippi River to water traffic Monday after an oil spill from a tank barge collision forced its closure Saturday afternoon, shuttering the Port of New Orleans, the nation’s busiest port in terms of volume. Coast Guard authorities closed about 65 miles of the river after a barge loaded with light crude collided with another barge hauling grain, releasing about 31,500 gallons of oil into the river 50 miles upriver near Vacherie, La. Both of the barges were being pushed by towboats at the time. Officials originally ... Read More

New Orleans riverboat company settles whistleblower case with OSHA

NEW ORLEANS, LA—The U.S. government has agreed to settle a whistleblower complaint brought against St. James Stevedoring Partners of New Orleans by a riverboat barge captain who was fired for reporting serious safety concerns to the U.S. Coast Guard, as required by law. A Labor Department whistleblower investigator found that St. James Stevedoring fired the riverboat captain after he complained to the U.S. Coast Guard about an inoperable starboard vessel engine in June 2011. Federal regulations require riverboat captains to report inoperable engines to the Coast Guard, and failure to do so can jeopardize the captain’s license. St. James Stevedoring ... Read More

Feds using remote vehicle to search for source of new Gulf oil slick

The bad news is yet another stray oil slick has been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. The good news is that the federal government appears to be making a real attempt to find the source of the stray oil, which as of Wednesday had formed a slick covering an area about a mile wide and 10 miles long. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) says it has deployed a remote underwater vehicle to the Gulf in an effort to find where the oil is coming from. ... Read More

Weatherford off the hook for oil-spill penalties, punitive damages

Weatherford U.S. LP, a Swiss oilfield service company that built key parts of BP’s failed Macondo well, will not have to face civil or criminal penalties and punitive damages for its role in the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. District Judge Judge Carl Barbier said Friday. Weatherford designed and built the doomed well’s float collar, a device that sat at the well’s opening three miles below the seafloor. The device was supposed to ensure the cement poured into the well did not rise to the surface before it had time to set. Federal investigations ... Read More

Environmental group sues energy company over ongoing Gulf oil spill

In December we reported how BP wasn’t the only driller fouling the Gulf of Mexico with oil; 10 miles off the Louisiana coast and just a few miles away from BP’s blown-out Macondo well, which flooded the Gulf with 206 million gallons of oil in 2010, sits an offshore platform and 28 oil wells belonging to Taylor Energy Company of New Orleans that may have been leaking hundreds of gallons of oil everyday for seven years. Now an environmental watchdog group hopes a lawsuit it filed against Taylor Energy on Thursday will help put an end to the spill. New ... Read More

Internal emails indicate BP hid early oil-spill rate estimates

Emails and other documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act lawsuits or turned over as part of court proceedings ahead of the February 27 BP oil spill trial suggest politics and spin had more influence on determining the amount of oil BP’s blown-out Macondo well spewed into the Gulf of Mexico each day than actual science. According to the Associated Press, internal BP emails and memos submitted in the court proceedings show that on the day the Deepwater Horizon sank into the Gulf of Mexico, BP officials warned that oil could gush out of the runaway well at a rate ... Read More

Lawsuit claims BP fired Miss. man for blowing whistle on oil cleanup

A former BP employee who helped form BP’s oil-spill cleanup response in Mississippi is suing the oil giant, alleging his bosses terminated him after he complained to them about how the company was handling cleanup efforts. According to the Associated Press, August Walter, a Louisiana resident, filed the complaint last week in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, contending one of his BP supervisors “manipulated data on shoreline cleanup” and failed to convey vital information to the Coast Guard about cleanup efforts. The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion set off the largest oil spill in U.S. history about 45 miles ... Read More

Federal regulators still lax as oil spills plague the Gulf

BP and federal authorities have denied the blown-out Macondo well may still be leaking, even as miles-long slicks of fresh oil continue to blanket areas of the Gulf near the site occupied by the Deepwater Horizon before it exploded in April 2010. In the fall, a number of flyovers thoroughly documented the new spill, and samples of crude collected by investigative reporters from the site were sent to Louisiana State University for analysis. Scientists there confirmed those samples as a “dead ringer” for the Macondo well oil. Still, even as several large ships contracted by BP lingered near the Macondo ... Read More

Federal regulators charge BP with another set of safety violations

Federal regulators have cited BP with another round of violations in connection with the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the workers killed in the incident, and the massive oil spill that erupted from the Macondo well a mile below the surface. Each safety violation the government cites BP for entails a civil penalty that the oil giant will have to pay should the charges stick. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which replaced the corrupted Minerals Management Service after the Gulf oil spill, cited BP for five noncompliance violations Wednesday. The citations included four for failing to suspend drilling procedures ... Read More