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TANKER OWNER AND CAPTAIN SENTENCED FOR OCEAN SPILL

Release Date: 12/22/99
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 1999

TANKER OWNER AND CAPTAIN SENTENCED FOR OCEAN SPILL

Anax International Agencies Inc., (Anax) owner of the oil tanker Command, and the Command’s captain, Dimitrios Georgantas, were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco on Dec. 13 for violating the Clean Water Act. The defendants previously pleaded guilty to illegally discharging 3,000 gallons pf bunker fuel oil from the Command into the Pacific Ocean on Sept. 27, 1998. They also admitted to sailing away from the site without reporting it. The spill resulted in more than $1.2 million in cleanup costs and killed more than 170 sea birds, including endangered brown pelicans, along the San Francisco and San Mateo County coasts. At sentencing, the defendants reimbursed the U.S. Coast Guard $1,231,737.76 for the costs of the cleanup and investigation; paid a $2,463,475.52 criminal fine, which will go to the National Oil Pollution Cleanup Fund and paid $5.5 million to the state of California and to the federal government to enhance and rehabilitate natural resources affected by the oil spill. In addition, the defendants will pay another $200,000 to the Federal Endangered Species Reward Fund. Lastly, Georgantas was placed on three years probation, during which he may not work on ships that do business in U.S. ports. This case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the California Department of Fish and Game. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

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