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CRUISE SHIP EMPLOYEES PLEAD TO DISCHARGING OIL IN ALASKA WATERS

Release Date: 12/16/99
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DEC. 16, 1999
CRUISE SHIP EMPLOYEES PLEAD TO
DISCHARGING OIL IN ALASKA WATERS

Nanne Hogendorn, Dirk Smeenk and Hantje DeJong, former crew members on the cruise ship S.S. Rotterdam, all pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska to violating the Clean Water Act by illegally discharging oily bilge water into Alaska waters. The illegal discharge took place in September 1994, when the defendants failed to maintain and properly operate the oil-water separator aboard the Rotterdam. Oil must be removed from the water that collects in the ship’s bilge so that it can be safely discharged into the ocean. In sufficient concentrations, oil on ocean surface waters can create a significant health risk for marine mammals and other aquatic species. Illegally discharging oil into marine waters carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000 per violation. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.


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