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German ship investigated in Duluth for environmental law violations

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There are more details starting to emerge about an oceangoing freighter that has been anchored offshore in Duluth for nearly two weeks.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Tuesday that the "Cornelia" is being investigated for "alleged violations of U.S. environmental regulations," but hasn't said yet what those violations are.

"Due to the ongoing investigation, the ... vessel and crew are prohibited from leaving Duluth until cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The vessel and crew do not pose a public safety threat. Speculation that the ship is held in port due to any safety concerns (is) false."

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the Cornelia was loaded with grain at the CHS Inc. elevator in Superior on Nov. 3 and 4, but has been stopped at anchor since Nov. 5.

The ship is owned by the German company MST, which operates dry-bulk carriers on the Atlantic Ocean. The newspaper reports that MST could not be reached for comment and the ship's captain refused comment when he was contacted by the Duluth News Tribune.

"We did an initial stowage examination on the ship to see that it was fit to load grain into, and we examined the grain as it was being loaded," said Greg Ukkola with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Grain Regulation to the News Tribune earlier this month.

According to the report, Ukkola said everything about the exam was routine.

According to KBJR, no other information will be released until after the investigation is complete.

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