Senior Officers Admit Covering Up Oily Waste Dumping
Two senior engineering officers employed by an Italian shipping company admitted that they deliberately concealed the discharge of oily waste from oil tanker Cielo di Milano into the sea, according to the US Department of Justice.
The 50-year-old chief engineer of Cielo di Milano, Girolamo Curatolo, pleaded guilty before US District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, while the 31-year-old Danilo Maimone, the ship’s first assistant engineer, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiring to obstruct justice.
The vessel, owned by D’Amico Shipping Italia S.p.A. and managed by D’Amico Societa di Navigazione S.p.A., visited ports in New Jersey multiple times, as well as ports in Maryland and Florida.
Curatolo admitted that the crew had intentionally bypassed required pollution prevention equipment by discharging oily waste from the engine room through its sewage system into the sea. He also admitted that he falsified the vessel’s Oil Record Book, a required log regularly inspected by the US Coast Guard.
Curatolo admitted he made false statements to the coast guard during its inspection of the Cielo di Milano in January 2015, instructing lower-level crew members to make false statements and destroying the vessel’s sounding log, which records the contents of storage tanks aboard the vessel, including those containing oily waste.
Maimone admitted concealing the discharge of oily waste as well as causing a false Oil Record Book to be presented to the coast guard during the inspection of the vessel. He admitted making false statements and instructing lower-level crew members to make false statements during the January 2015 inspection.
The charges to which Curatolo and Maimone pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of USD 250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offenses. Sentencing for both is scheduled for November 21, 2016.