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

Publish date:

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. 

Next Up


More signs of illegal trash dumping in Minnesota

The Duluth News Tribune reports Minnesota conservation officers are seeing more waste in ditches and ravines. Illegal dumping is a misdemeanor offense with a fine of up to $1,000. Officials with the DNR say the economy could be playing a role.

Duluth to visitors: C'mon in, the water’s gone

Duluth is accessible and very much open for the tourists it depends on every summer, city officials say. But there has been a deluge of visitor cancellations, and the tourism industry is battling the misconception that the city is not safe after record flooding last week. Those impressions linger even though 99 percent of the community is in decent condition and unsafe areas are barricaded, Mayor Don Ness said.