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Shipping Firm Prosecuted for Oil Pollution

16 July 2009
A shipping firm has been today been fined $7,500 in the Hobart Magistrates Court for discharging an oily mixture from a vessel at the port of Burnie in 2007. Bright Carrier SA Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to an offence under the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987. The offence occurred on the 16th & 17th of December 2007 when a quantityof oil was lost into the water at Burnie when the vessel the MV Cape York discharged an oily mixture from its ballast tank. Tas Ports personnel responded to the spill and absorbent booms were set up to contain the oil slick in the port area. This limited the spread of the oil and the cost of the clean-up operation and ensured that a nearby penguin colony was not impacted. The court also heard the company had already paid approximately $19,200 in associated clean-up costs. Environment Protection Authority Director Warren Jones said today's fine is a reminder to all operators of vessels to take care in and around Tasmanian ports. "Today's court ruling reinforces the fact that operators must have adequate procedures and training in place to ensure that ballast water does not become contaminated with oil," Mr Jones said "Even small discharges of pollutants in ballast water have the potential to have significant impacts on the marine environment."