BEAUMONT, Texas (CN) – Two European shipping companies were indicted Friday on charges of conspiring to violate environmental law, federal prosecutors said. Cimpship Transportes Maritimos S.A., headquartered in Portugal, and Madrid-based Ership S.A. allegedly failed to maintain oil record books as required by federal law.
Cimpship owned the Niebla, a 38,000-ton ship operated by Ership that transported bulk cargo from various ports in the Gulf Coast, including Port Arthur, Texas, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say crew members failed to maintain an oil record book.
If convicted, the corporations each face a fine of up to $500,000 for each of the 18 counts charged in the indictment.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating, and assistant U.S. attorneys Kevin Collins and Joseph Batte are leading the prosecution.