Greek Shipping Company Fined for Dumping Oil, Whistleblowers Rewarded | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Greek Shipping Company Fined for Dumping Oil, Whistleblowers Rewarded

Play associated audio
Coast Guard Investigator Matt Jones shows the cellphone used by a crew member to gather evidence used to tip off customs agents.
Sabri Ben-Achour
Coast Guard Investigator Matt Jones shows the cellphone used by a crew member to gather evidence used to tip off customs agents.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

A judge in Baltimore is fining a Greek shipping company millions for secretly dumping oil overboard from one of its ships.

The whistleblowers will get a big chunk of that money.

In January, after a 740-foot long cargo ship sailed into Baltimore's harbor one of the crew members slipped a customs agent a note.

"This is to inform you of illegal discharging of oily water from bilge tank," the note said, according to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

The investigation that resulted from that tip found - and the company later admitted - the ship dumped 6000 gallons of sludge overboard, evidence was hidden, valves were repainted to hide tool marks.

Today a judge fined Irika Shipping $4 million - and, under a federal law, gave $500,000 to the four whistleblowers.

Richard Udell is a trial attorney with the Justice Department.

"Increasingly we have cases that are brought from whistleblowers who can receive up to one half of a criminal fine," Udell says.

A report by the Academy of Sciences from 2002 estimated about 65 million gallons of oil are dumped by boats at sea each year.

That's almost a third of the oil that leaked from BP's Gulf well this summer.

NPR

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Women and minorities continue to be under-represented on TV and in film, both behind and in front of the camera, according to a new study — even though diverse films and shows make more money.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Is The Battle Won And Done For Those Who Fought For Net Neutrality?

In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.