US penalty policy for sulphur violations

On 16 January 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a penalty policy for violations of the sulphur emissions limit for ships operating in the North American and US Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas. The policy is said to be intended to deter potential violators.

According to the memorandum, the EPA may impose a civil penalty of US$ 25,000 per violation, per day. Responsibility for burning compliant fuel, maintaining written procedures, recording the fuel change-over in the logbook, and retaining bunker delivery notes and samples of the fuel oil are all considered separate obligations, and thus involve separate violations if breached.

Notably, each day a violation continues constitutes a separate penalty of US$ 25,000. The penalties will be calculated “taking into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other matters as justice may require”.

The EPA states that it is committed to enforcing marine emission standards to help prevent dangerous air pollution from harming public health in American communities.

US EPA info on ship fuel regulation

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