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Charges: Ship that wasn't allowed to leave Duluth illegally dumped oily water

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The owner of the Cornelia – the German ship that wasn't allowed to leave Duluth last winter – has been charged.

The German company MST (Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH), which operates the Cornelia, is accused of illegally dumping oily waste water into the Great Lakes, and then covering it up, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.

Charges allege MST violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships when it failed to maintain an accurate ship record about how it disposed of oil-contaminated waste, and that it falsified records given to the U.S. Coast Guard.

At least 1o times between February and October of 2015, the ship's chief engineer or second engineer told crew members to dump oily waste overboard, the attorney's office alleges. And at least one time the waste was dumped into the Great Lakes.

Then, in November 2015, when the ship was in the Port of Duluth, U.S. Coast Guard inspectors were given false entries, which made it look like the Cornelia had properly disposed of its waste, charges say.

The ship was stuck in Duluth's harbor from November until mid-December of last year as officials investigated.

MST has been formally charged with one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution From Ships and eight counts of false entries/omissions in records in a federal investigation. 

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