Miami River Marine Shipping Company Given $1 Million Fine

Coast Guard members discovered that the Titan Express, operated by the company, was leaking excessive oil and fuel from its engine

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    The company previously pleaded guilty for failure to maintain and submit records.

    A Miami River marine cargo shipping company was sentenced Friday to a $1,000,000 fine and five years probation for oil pollution and ballast water crimes, according to the Department of Justice.

    Ballast water crimes mean the failure to report the water that is held in tanks at the bottom of ships to increase maneuverability, the department explained to NBC Miami.

    Judge Adalberto Jordan ordered American Marine Management Services, operating as Antillean Marine, to pay half of the fine to the South Florida National Parks Trust, a nonprofit environmental organization that works to preserve South Florida water ecosystems.

    Coast Guard members discovered that the Titan Express, operated by the company, was leaking excessive oil and fuel from its engine, the department said. The Coast Guard said it became aware that the oil water separator did not operate properly and that it gave inconsistent readings. There was also oil inside of the ship's separator.

    Officials say that the company's "oil record book" also had several made-up entries and that the book did not efficiently account for the Titan Express' waste.

    Another logbook in the engine room had a note written by an engineer that said, "Always pump out the bilge water. When finished, wash the pump with sea water for 20 minutes to clean out the line. If you don't do it, you'll bring pollution problems, especially to Miami."

    The Justice Department said that Antillean Marine also broke the law when they failed to report to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse, which works to prevent the introduction of exotic species into U.S. waters.

    Antillean Marine pleaded guilty to the crimes on Aug. 12.