- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Singapore-based company has agreed to pay a $1.2 million fine because a senior crew member on one of its ships ordered polluted water dumped into the ocean, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Odfjell Asia II Pte Ltd. and the crew member pleaded guilty Monday in Hartford for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

Prosecutors say the company operated a petroleum/chemical tanker ship that discharged machinery space bilge water three times in international waters between October 2011 and October 2012.

A plea agreement, if accepted by the court, calls for the company to pay a $1.2 million criminal penalty, including $300,000 to fund projects to preserve and restore Long Island Sound. The company also will implement an environmental management plan to ensure it complies with maritime environmental requirements and that employees and crew are properly trained in preventing maritime pollution, prosecutors said.

The crew member, Ramil Leuterio, is a 42-year-old citizen of the Philippines. He faces up to six years in prison when he is sentenced May 14 for his role in directing lower ranking crewmembers to make the illegal discharges and for failing to accurately maintain the vessel’s oil record book, authorities said.

“Pollution of our waters will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly. “Shipping companies are on notice that violating American environment laws will result in federal prosecution and puts at risk their business interests in this country. Crew members who ignore these laws may also face incarceration.”

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