Singapore-based shipping company Unix Line PTE Ltd. pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
Unix Line admitted that its crew members onboard the 16,408 gross-ton oceangoing motor tanker Zao Galaxy knowingly failed to record in the vessel’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water without the use of required pollution-prevention equipment, during the vessel’s voyage from the Philippines to Richmond, Calif.
According to the plea agreement, Unix Line is the operator of the Zao Galaxy, which set sail carrying a cargo of palm oil from the Philippines on January 21, 2019, bound for Richmond. On February 11, 2019, the Zao Galaxy arrived in Richmond, where it underwent a U.S. Coast Guard inspection and examination. Examiners discovered that during the voyage, a Unix Line-affiliated ship officer directed crew members to discharge oily bilge water overboard, using a configuration of drums, flexible pipes and flanges to bypass the vessel’s oil water separator. The discharges were knowingly not recorded in the Zao Galaxy’s oil record book.
Unix Line’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 20 before U.S. District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar in Oakland, Calif.